Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Getting Back to Climbing, Weeks 18, 19 & 20: Time Passages

I have found myself pensive for the past three weeks.  The passage of time, and change, has been dominating my mind, for obvious and not so obvious reasons...

Two weeks ago, I climbed at the gym on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I finally sent one of my projects after several weeks of working it; it was the last two moves that kept shutting me down, but on Wednesday I sent it first burn.  Beyond that, I was still on a plateau.  I had bruised one of the tendons in my middle finger, and every time I grabbed a jug it sent a searing pain through my hand.  All of the joints in my hands had been hurting, and my elbow was flaring up again... so I was relieved (thought I hate to admit it) when Brittany (The Kid's sitter at Island Rock) was going to be away for a week and a half.  Taking a few weeks off from climbing would give my various aches and pains time to heal. 

The other night at home I was in the dining room listening to John get The Kid ready for bed.  He got out of the bath and John was asking him to get his pyjamas.  Suddenly, I realized:  that is the guy from the rock climbing gym.  This man chasing our son around to get dressed for bed: I met at him the climbing gym.... and here he is, in our house, and he is my husband, and we have a spectacular son.  That is that guy from the gym. We met when he was eating garlic pasta, and spouting climbing beta; somehow that meeting has brought us to the place we are now.  For some reason it struck me that evening.

John & Me
One of the first photos taken of us

Me, The Kid & John
We heard that one of the quintessential beach bouldering problems on Long Island was gone, two weeks ago.  Apparently someone built a fire under one our huge beach boulders on the North Shore, and the heat caused a large section of the rock to flake off and crash to the ground.  'Ride the Rail' is gone. Rocks seem so strong and impenetrable, but, over time they become fragile.  The family drove out on Monday (Memorial Day), and indeed the original climb is gone... forever.  This was the first outside boulder I ever climbed on; could it have really been eight years ago?

However, the most profound marker of the passage of time was the death of my grandfather, my Popop.  He was ninety-three, and lived an amazing life; but his body failed and he missed my Nana who passed away in November.  He was my last living grandparent, and it is the end of a security that I have had my entire life.  I was very fortunate that I made it to Pennsylvania to see him on Thursday; I got the chance to talk to him, and he was so excited to see The Kid.  He passed away on Friday around noon, and Tuesday would have been his 70th wedding anniversary... I believe my Nana and Popop spent their anniversary together... somewhere.
My Popop
Our Island in Canada

My Popop & The Kid (in his dragon suit)
November 2010

There are the changes of life... some profound and some so subtle that we don't even realize they occured until we look closely.  Taking a break when my body needs it, the course that a relationship takes, a tremendous rock crumbling, and a soul moving on to another dimension... all marking the passages of time.

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