The author is seen here, sharing the world at Lassen Volcanic National Park in California. (Photo courtesy of Patrick Lewis)

The author is seen here, sharing the world at Lassen Volcanic National Park in California. (Photo courtesy of Patrick Lewis)

Tangled Up in Blue: Me, me, me

When I wait until the last minute to write Tangled Up in Blue, inspiration can be hard to come by.

This morning, mere hours before I needed to send this to the Clarion, I was reading through columns past, trying to find something vaguely outdoors related that I haven’t written about in the more than three years that I’ve been procrastinating on columns.

In this walk down memory lane, I found a predominant theme. Scrolling through pages of vague column titles and mangled Bob Dylan references, I couldn’t help but see one short word jump out again and again — “I.”

This column has unapologetically been about me — me telling you stories of adventurous weekends, me digging deeper into my psyche right in front of you or me imploring you to see things in a different light, but always within the frame of “I.”

“I had a lot of goals at the start of this year,” I wrote in August 2020.

“I went on a little vacation,” I wrote in July 2020.

“I picked up my journal this morning, ready to start closing out another year in its pages,” I wrote in December 2019.

“I really do not want to write this,” I wrote in February 2019.

“I’ve had a hectic winter so far,” I wrote in November 2018.

Tangled Up in Blue is about Kathleen Sorensen, my favorite subject, and I’m so very lucky that I’ve been able to continue writing about adventures, feelings and thoughts. But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about “we.”

There are so many instances that my “I” statements could be “we” statements, or even “you” statements.

We’re all in an orbit around each other, passing through different phases simultaneously or in a state of near misses. While I may be writing about my hectic winter in November 2018, you may be telling your sister about your hectic winter on the phone and another person is detailing their hectic winter in an email to a co-worker.

When I set out to run Ptarmigan Trail on a gorgeous, sunny spring day, it’s not unlikely for me to spot several acquaintances and friends on the trail. Good ideas and experiences are often shared.

And I always feel best when I share something I wrote and people let me know that they have experienced or felt similarly.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in your own world, that you forget that everyone else is doing the same.

I see it not only in my own writing, but when I’m on the trails. I get frustrated with a crowded trailhead, vista or Ptarmigan Lake, and have to remind myself that this world was meant to share.

And I hope to continue sharing it kindly by wearing my mask, being respectful to those around me, understanding my inherent biases and working on them, reaching out to those I know in need, being welcoming in all walks of life and by insuring that my vote is cast in all local and federal elections, so that my voice can be part of a larger “we.”

So, that’s what I’ve been thinking about today. What about you?


For the Clarion

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