Friday, December 30, 2011

Before the Dawn Heals

I caught a fleeting glimpse
Of the glowing embers of tomorrow
Taking solace in the burning afterglow
Of the early morning breeze
Stiring the voice within to echo in the light:
There will
Always be another sea to swim and
Another star to wish upon

Dreams are only worth something if they are actively pursued. I have just pulled a big one from the sky and now my mind is spinning for what to do next. The past two years I have been focusing most of my energy into obtaining my teaching license. That has finally been realized and for now I have been reveling in the satisfaction. Almost four years ago I came to Hawaii with a backpack, a pair of running shoes and a smile. What a journey it has been. I had a dream to run, surf, wander, explore, climb trees, and sing songs of joy every day of my life and somehow make it work. I had no clue how to make it happen except by just doing it and not questioning myself.

I know of sea and mountains and love, have
Roamed the murky bottoms looking for truth and
Heard fools preaching from podiums
Knowing to let the words of the wind guide me
Never drinking wine from the cellars of discontent
Or squabbling with the birds at high noon
I said goodbye to fear and made it relinquish its grip years ago and have
Walked with the dawn through lonesome fields and
Waltzed with the night sky, sung with frogs and
Admired the strength of seedlings knowing
I’m just a drop of dew in the vast ocean

I heard a sound that came from a spring within
And felt it trickle through the silence as it was
Caressed by truth and seen in my dreams
Sung by all those who also heard and
Recognized as love
Love that engulfs itself
Love that is silent in a sea of sound
Love that is a beacon of light on a bleak night
Love that extends its hand blindly
Love that knows of sorrow and despair
And still laughs wildly
Love that bends in circles
Around and around and around
Love that sails the high seas
Love that smiles at everyone
Love that knows the night sky at 2am
Love that comes from the north, has seen the distant south
Ventured so far into the east as to
Come out in the west
Love that runs wild and
Love that runs free

That sound of love echoes at twilight and says:
"Complications have no use to someone
Who is flowing to the sea."
Following the ocean line
I will take what I know and
Let it paint me
With flames and bathe me in silence while I sit quietly
Eating apples on the cliffs and
Let the salty air
Seep into my bones knowing that
Sometimes it’s ok to look down
To know where to land

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hold On

I spent a night stranded between two mountains under a field of stars. Friday, after a long and stressful week I decided to celebrate the end of it by running up Mauna Kea for the sunset and stars. At 13,700ft. Mauna Kea is one of the best places in the world to view stars. I left my car off of Saddle Road at 6,500 feet, making the summit around 12 miles away with a lot of uphill! A manic and wild run it was, wavering on the way up running into the sunset and feeling solidified and renewed running down through the darkness. The only problem was my car was broke down and would not start once I made it back. This was alarming at first but for some strange reason an incredible rush of calm washed over me. I even enjoyed the predicament in some weird way. After fiddling around in the darkness trying to get the car started I decided to just lie down and look up at the glowing sky. Luckily I had a sleeping bag, blanket, stove and hot chocolate mix. Nothing to complain about really. I was in a weird state all night, not really asleep or awake. Instead in some wacky realm induced from running for four hours at elevation, manic happiness from a clear singing sky, a sense of longing and feelings of uncertainty.

In the morning my car still would not start and I opted not to pay a ton of money to have it towed all the way back into Hilo. I asked some folks to help me push it onto Saddle Road. I ran alongside pushing and once there was enough momentum, jumped in and coasted 27 miles in neutral down into Hilo with a huge grin on my face... Out of control…. Once I made it down my car started with a stroke of luck and I was home free feeling thankful. I scribbled these words at 3am in state of tired delirium:

"Mauna Kea’s Starry Songs"

Hard times in the city
God damn
Hard times in the country
Left the dishes in the sink and
I’m going up a mountain
Heard the wild thieves are on the hunt
Trying to steal my heart
So I’m a' high flyin' up
Balancing on a thought and
Singing starry songs
Sung through my hearts voice while i'm
Stumbling and weary from the riddles
Yet harmoniously
In the midst of joy
Lookin’ for the right kind of love
To come and take me back down but
For now I’m just a’ high flyin’ up
Don’t know when I’m coming back down

Just saw him play at a small theater, singing the sweet blues all night long:

Monday, October 3, 2011

From the Mountains to the Sea

(Mauna Kea,Mauna Loa,Hualalai from Kohala) The best view of the three together I have seen!

Chasing magic again
I reached and touched with my fingertips
A forgotten remnant
Of what it means to breath

So I ran along a forsaken ridge
And paddled through a fearless ocean
Thriving in the moment and wondering
If the stars are prisoners of the night sky?
Or if they burn with voluntary passion?
Looking over the edge
I caught a glimpse
Of blazing possibilities, then....

Fell asleep on the warm hood of my car
Awoke to rain under a singing moon
Feeling like a blade of grass
Intoxicated by morning dew

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sierra Misadventures

Reuniting with friends in dusty bars and on mountain tops for quixotic quests while
practicing living in the present and letting go of distractions; just enjoying the simple flow of life, the solitude of snowy peaks, delirious hikes into the wild void of night fueled on absurdity, and full immersion into the essence of why I love to run and live.

(Jenn and Connie probably should not be alive, lucky to make it out)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

City Trails

The Yin and Yang of Richmond: Trails and buildings divided by the James River.

Back alleys can be just as beautiful as backcountry

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Country Roads

(Magic hour at Chesapeake Bay)

Sea shores, swamps, sand dunes, mountain tops, riversides, railroad tracks and back alleys; there are majestic places to run in Virginia.

I went on an amazing trip with my Dad to the Southwest Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains to run/hike/bike. Spending time in the mountains and running the Creeper Trail were things I wanted to do while back in Virginia. The trail was once a timber railway and is 34 miles long, gradually descending through farm lands, pastures, creeks, rivers and small towns. My dad biked and I ran, the miles floated by effortlessly.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back In The Slipstream

It was a journey back into the land of dreams, Halape. The 8 mile trail winds through a landscape defined by earthquakes, explosions, and tsunamis. Halape is a coastal oasis set below towering cliffs and in between two pools of lava (Kilauea and Pu’u O’o.) All of those elements make it a magical place to be. Patrick and myself arrived to an empty beach, the ghosts of yesterday and tomorrow were there dancing in the wind. The dramatic sparseness and lushness that encompass the landscape reminded me of the kind of place that angels and devils would whisper about.

At night the stars were out, falling across the sky and spinning circles around my mind weaving dreams as I slept. There were no waves on the first day, but plenty of other things to do and sights to see. Tide pool swimming, drinking rum from coconuts, napping, and running.

I set out for a run along the coastal trail and soon realized there was no one around for miles. I stripped off my shorts and ran to the rhythm of the ocean on one side and felt the pulse of Kilauea on the other. A feeling of true freedom, soul running wild. The following morning we woke up to the sound of breaking waves and I went from sound slumber to paddling out in about two minutes. Still half asleep, the first few waves I went for I ended up getting tossed and flipped underwater from being too slow. Not a bad way to wake up! The wind stayed down all morning and both of us were drunk with joy from riding waves in such a unique and tranquil setting. The first time I camped there over two years ago it felt like a sort of coming of age trip. There is still nothing like it for gaining clarity, perspective, and feelings of reaffirmation. Halape is a special place for me, a journey I need to make more often.

(Cool shot of stars and fronds from Patrick)

Presence of stars marching in
Shining over my dreams and
Pushing my boat
As it leaves Alcatraz
Now a breeze is blowing in
"Just live, love, and be gone....”
Like roots by the river
I’m drinking in..
Roots by the river
Seeds in the wind
Looking for a home
I’m a seed in the wind
Already home

July by Youth Lagoon

Sunday, July 10, 2011


The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle—
Why not I with thine?

See the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdain'd its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea—
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?