DAY 119


DAY 119
08.01.07
TREE 32

Oddly on this first day of a new month I am climbing a tree I climbed on the first day of May. Up until this point I had been ripping only orange ribbons down. But when I saw the blue and reallized the date it struck me as an odd but nice coincidence.

The tree is directly behind the house. It is the same tree I’ve been parking my truck under. Last time I used stilts to reach the first branch. This time I was determined to make it on a step off the trunk. So I ran at that trunk probably fifteen times before I finally grabbed that branch. When I finally got the height and got a hold, it felt so good. Trying and failing so many times is discouraging, but I finally did it. So I got up in the branches and took down some string from Magic at the Mount and then climbed higher. It was a good climb up, some spots I really had to consider. But relatively easy with all the branches. I got to the blue tag and took it down. Then on a branch nearby got up slightly higher. I got comfortable and took some pictures. None were really good out from the tree because of the leaves but there was a great shot straight down where the trunk splits into all its major limbs. Very cool. I climbed down a different way hitting different limbs looking for more good shots. I didn’t find any but it was a fun descent. I hung from that first branch and revelled in my prior victory then dropped to the ground. That entry made this climb.


Looking up at that first limb. 

The picture looking down I wrote about.


A view over the house to the Mount church.

8-1-08:  The running step off the trunk was a skill learned doing parkour.  Parkour has helped my tree climbing, and tree climbing has helped my parkour.  And the rest of my life for that matter.  I had lower back problems while working in a warehouse in Portland, and injured both my ankles doing parkour out west.  Then I took time off from training and just started climbed a tree everyday.  Soon my back problems faded and my ankles got stronger and the pain left.  I think I have mentioned it many times before, but tree climbing has true healing properties.  For mind and body.

Lately I have re-immersed myself into reading graphic novels.  Ever since I moved downtown I have been frequenting the Mid City Mall library to check out the teen outpost.  They have a decent collection of manga, graphic novels, and comics.  I recently read one called “Blindspot”  by Kevin C. Pyle.  It’s about a kid who escapes the worries of his life in the woods by his house.  There is one page that really struck me:

I have tried to make some work about that feeling and he captures it so well in a page. 

Yesterday I was feeling quite out of it from another graphic novel I read early in the day.  “Fax
From Sarajevo” is an intense story about a family trying to escape the ethnic cleansing in the city in the early 90’s. 

I needed to get out of my apartment and do something uplifting so I biked to Cherokee Park and wanted to climb a really fun tree.  Not too difficult but with a path all the way to a very high point.  Maples are pretty consistently good for this.  I went near Cherokee Triangle to explore an area I have not before and found exactly what I was looking for.  The climb was not easy but with a little work I made it up the strong limbs to the very top.  With so many leaves and surrounding tall trees I didn’t have the clearest view out but I got some good shots.



I sat up there quite a while just enjoying the freedom and solitude.  I collected some whirligig seeds and watched them spin slowly towards the ground.  The sunlight was spotty through the leaves and would light the falling seeds like a light show… on, off, on.  I wanted to get a video, but the camera just doesn’t see what the human eye can see.  Plus the wind picked up and would carry them out of the camera’s view.  I gave up, but wasn’t discouraged.  I dropped a few more before I climbed down.  That climb was exactly what I needed.

4 Replies to “DAY 119”

  1. Another enjoyable entry! I think this one stands as my favorite thus far. What a find you made in “Blindspot.” And I respect you reading “Fax from Sarajevo.” While the tree climb freed your mind from worries triggered by the book, has the book affected your thoughts in other ways?

  2. Thanks. Well, it just so happens that I was also reading “The Third Chimpanzee” by Jared Diamond and there is a chapter that analyzes why humans commit genocide. This is not why I chose to read “Fax From Sarajevo” it was just a coincidence, but what I did think about was how those two books made me feel two completely different feelings. Diamond speaks so scientifically that I had no real emotion. It wasn’t personal. But that graphic novel was intense. It was angering to think it happened while I was alive and heard practically nothing about it, at home or in school. Did we not know? Because the book explains and describes all the journalists and articles that came out during the war describing many atrocities, yet the UN or anyone for that matter did anything to help. On top of that, it was so hard for them to leave the country just because they didn’t have the proper papers. It was maddening. It makes me think about what’s going on in Africa, Darfur… is it the same, is nothing being done? And what would be the correct line of action? I don’t know.

  3. I know! I have felt similarly. As you know, there’s similar enough violent madness in our own inner cities. We also do not hear about the many people in those inner cities who are either forced into, or surrounded by, that madness.

    I also have felt similarly about academic writing. It is meant to sound objective and unemotional. Yet underneath the political writing, there is almost always the self-preservation drive – the desire to not be among those slaughtered and humiliated.

    More writers would push for public discussion of atrocities if it did not risk humiliation, yeah? Spelled out better, to be marginalized as some fringe reporter focused on the negatives of ‘some other people’ could lead to reduced employment opportunities and therefore greater likelihood of the humiliation of poverty (not paying your bills, people not wanting to be near you). It would also be personally dispiriting.

    Yeah, writing for the Wall Street Journal sounds better.

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