Elevating and Pu-Erh

Currently elevating my knee.

Debating whether or not to boil some water for some pu-erh tea.

Feeling sluggish. Had two helpings of yogurt with maple syrup and then two big slices of toast with butter. My attempts at cutting dairy out of my diet have failed in that I consume almost exclusively dairy. Dairy and wheat. I’m like a 14th century German peasant. Except 14th century German peasants probably rarely drank pu-erh. So I am a refined 14th century German peasant.

I dind’t go to Leavenworth today because I didn’t feel like driving all the way out there. So maybe the beautiful one-bedroom will escape me. This is possible. It’s also possible that it’s supposed to escape me, that I’m not supposed to sign a one-year lease, that I’m condemned to live in micro studios for the rest of my life. All I want to do is boulder. If I haven’t yet made that explicitly clear. All I want to do is boulder. All I want to do is boulder. All I want to do is boulder. All I want to do is boulder. And when I’m not bouldering I want to be thinking about bouldering, writing about bouldering, training for bouldering, talking about bouldering.

If this kind of lifestyle also interests you, let me know.

If you’d like to perform an LCL transplant on yourself and give me your delectable LCL, let me know.

Actually, today at physical therapy felt like a bit of a breakthrough. It always does. Today we did ONE-LEGGED SQUATS, aka I sat down using only my left leg, and stood up using only my left leg. I felt like a boss. I didn’t think I could do it, but it actually wasn’t that hard, proving that the mental component of this injury might be the hardest to deal with.

After physical therapy I got a matcha latte at The Retreat in Greenlake and sat in the sun. Then I drove to the Sculpture Garden, and then I walked to the ferry. So now I’m on The Island where I just got ANOTHER matcha latte and watched…..what did I watch. I have the memory of a ring-tailed lemur.

It’s very possible I’ll finish Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey tonigh. I’ve thought about starting another writing project of my own, but I don’t know if I have it in me. These things, these writing projects, when they fail, they really take it out of you. I mean, I guess you can never fail completely, because each time you learn something, but to write 10,000 words and at the end decide, “This is shit,” is tough. But you have to keep going. I will keep going, but for now I’m just going to blog.

OK now it’s DEFINITELY time for some pu-erh. Good thing I convinced myself.

What gorgeous weather today.

What gorgeous weather tomorrow.

What gorgeous weather of the mind.

Think of the Shingles

morning

I shaved my head this morning. A number three. Hadn’t shaved my head in a long time. Used a number one and two for the back and sides. Tried to fade it. Shaved my beard too. Look 20 years younger. I could pass for a college boy again. Maybe. A college rower. A college boulderer. A college computer science grad.

The drive to Gig Harbor to visit my sister and brother in law was not as terrible as I’d feared. You could almost describe it as pleasurable, though you never would. I took the 509 down past SeaTac and then merged onto I-5. Stopped at Whole Foods Chambers Bay in Tacoma and went off the rails a bit. Got another Hop Tea, some of those pork buns that weren’t pork at all but just vegetarian, and another matcha latte. Walked around the parking lot. Talked to my mom on the phone. Looked inside a cafe called Anthem or something like that that looked like the kind of place where people might trade Magic cards. I consider anyone  from outside Seattle to be somehow innocent. Like if two guys in Fircrest are at a cafe trading Magic cards it’s somehow cute, I marvel at their innocence, but if they’re doing the same thing in Seattle I just think they’re losers.

I think part of the reason I want to move to Leavenworth is to recover some of that innocence. Like for example if I were to work in a cafe in Leavenworth that would somehow be completely acceptable, even cool. Meeting new people. Learning new skills, doing stuff with your hands, not doing some job that hurts the world.  But for some reason the idea of working in a cafe in Seattle sounds terrible, it sounds frankly menial, and I would feel like a failure. Drive two and half hours east, rad. Do it here, failure.

¿¿¿Cómo???

O sea.

Anyway, I don’t understand anything, I don’t understand how we’re supposed to live. Some things just feel wrong, like consuming more than you need. There is a finite amount of resources on this planet, so for everything you consume you don’t need you’re taking something from someone else. If you have three cars when only one would do, you’re consuming hundreds pounds of metal and plastic that otherwise wouldn’t have been consumed. You’re consuming more gas. More space. More space on the roads. More oil. More transmission fluid. More everything. If you have a 5000 square foot home when 2000 square feet would be just fine think how much more you’re consuming. Think how many trees had to die for that extra 3000 square feet so you could have a rec room for your kids who don’t give a shit anyway. Think of the amount of drywall and wiring and insulation. Think of the shingles.

I am of course guilty of this. Most of us in the US are. I drink more matcha lattes than I need. I don’t need matcha lattes. Gotta pick our battles, I guess. And if I somehow had a bunch of money, if I was suddenly making 200k a year would I not want a nicer car, would I not get that 2018 Outback I’ve been looking at when my ‘97 Subi is just fine? Would I not consume more? Of course I would. I’m sure I would. I probably would. Maybe I would. I’d get a nicer car, a nicer dwelling, buy even more expensive food, nicer clothes, nicer shoes, nicer vacations, nicer everything. At least I think I probably would. I’ve never made 200k a year but I’ve seen how people who make that kind of money or more live. They generally treat things like they’re more disposable, like our oceans and forests and deserts are somehow disposable, like the sky and the birds and the rain and the grass and the succulents gathering dew in the morning are somehow disposable. Like the coyotes and wolves and cougar and bears and fiddle ferns and hemlocks and cedar trees and hills and glades and glens and steams and lakes and rivers are somehow disposable. Like the canyons and boulders and rock and cliffs and buttes and crags and caverns are somehow disposable. Like they’re the only ones on earth, or at least the only ones that matter. And then they cover this consumption by making a charitable donation or by volunteering once in their life, thinking that makes everything ok.  But it’s not the the things you do once in a while, it’s the things you do everyday. This is a sermon to myself as much as anyone else. El mundo te ve como quieres que te vea. Don’t demand of others what you don’t demand of yourself.

Almost time for physical therapy. Well, still got an hour. Enough time to walk around Greenlake. Probably just. But will I do it? That remains to be seen.

I wish I had more matcha.

afternoon

I meet up with Barry and we go for a walk. We walk from the Whole Foods in Roosevelt to the UW light rail station. I go to Capitol Hill and buy some books at Elliott Bay Book Co, and Barry continues on south. I walk from Elliott Bay to Madison Market where I buy a nitro chai that’s out of this world. Then I walk to 23rd where I get the 48 back to the U-District, where I get the 45 back up to Greenlake. At this point the sun’s setting, it’s just dipped below the clouds and is occupying a thin strip of blue sky just above the horizon. It’s glorious. People are walking around Greenlake. I’m exhausted. I’ve just walked five miles on a recovering LCL. I feel fucking great. I feel like the world’s my razor clam. I feel like I’m on a bus. I feel like I’m in my car watching the sunset. I drive back to Interbay and get pizza from Pagliacci. Two slices of pep. On top of the world. On top of the train tracks. Next to the Box Car.

She Said || The Road to Recovery

I just had a physical therapy appointment. In person. By Greenlake. It was wonderful. I think the best part was when the physical therapist massaged my hamstring. And then I did exercises, all of which felt fine EXCEPT for the lateral walking with a band wrapped around my ankles for resistance. My LCL had to take a LITTLE strain, and I wasn’t used to that. But it’s fine. It’s exactly what I’m there for.

Afterward I got a disgusting matcha latte at Chocolati Cafe and then walked around Greenlake. I think it’s something like 2.8 miles. My knee felt fine. It was gloriously sunny. Vitamin D coursing into my body. My heart singing looking at the treetops, at the blue sky, at the geese and ducks. People walking around only counterclockwise. The odd family or couple walking against the flow of traffic. Me cursing them for it.

Then afterward I went to the Northeast Library Branch to get Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey. I think this is going to be an amazing book. Please, God, don’t be pretentious. Please god make it like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance but more nature-centric. Please god let him be one of my new favorite authors.

I was stoked because the first part of the book mentions Moab and Arches National Park, which I drove through on my way back from Mexico. Moab is a terrible town. It’s basically a strip mall with gas stations. Sounds like it used to be charming, though. The only people I greeted were two Mormons on their missions who always say “hi” SUPER enthusiastically, but I didn’t have it in me to talk to them. Sometimes I like talking to the Mormons. But this time it just kinda made me sad. I did want to say, “Man, people get sent all over the world on their missions. They learn cool languages like Finnish and Russian and Swahili. And you guys are in….Moab. Are you bummed?” But I’m sure they weren’t bummed. They were spreading the word of Jesus Christ Our Redeemer. So I’m sure they were stoked. I was stoked to get a matcha latte the next morning. I was stoked to have a fuck ton of driving time to myself. I was stoked to drive through canyons.

The physical therapist said….

She said…..

She says…..

I says…..

She said, “—”

I said, “So can I go climbing after today’s session.”

She said, “Give it a couple weeks and we’ll discuss.”

I said, “OK.”

I threw a tantrum.

She said, “Your LCL is healing great. I was unable to provoke symptoms today.”

I said, “That’s wonderful news. I want my LCL to be stronger than ever. I want my LCL to be the strongest ligament in my body. I want it to bully the other ligaments in my knee.”

She said, “Just give it a couple weeks.”

I said, “…..”.

She said, “?????????”

I said, “–“.

She said, “.”

It is gloriously sunny. I’m thinking of going over to Bainbridge. I’m thinking of getting a FocusAid. I’m thinking of applying to more jobs. I’m thinking of calling someone east of the Cascades. I’m thinking…..

– MTW