my daily art # 17

in transition.

I guess we’re all here, in this place of transition, this lonely island, at certain points in our lives. Maybe we’re here all the time, because we are always changing: shedding cells, growing new ones, waking up, making choices, reading new things, meeting new people, in a constant state of becoming. But I feel there are certain times when the transition is amplified, when we are making bigger changes, finding ourselves at a crossroads and changing our direction. This is where I am now.

I want to be a rock climber. I am using this as a metaphor for life in my therapy sessions, but also I really want to pursue this. My sister and her boyfriend recently took me on my first technical rock climbing experience in Colorado, and it was life-changing. Rock Climbing is not something that most people who know me would think me capable of, or even that I would want to. I’m afraid of heights, of falling, of getting hurt. I freak out. My sister is so brave in this way, she is always trying new things that challenge her physically and mentally, that make her a stronger person. I so look up to her in this, and I want to do more things like that.

When I got on the rock, it was really hard at first, but not nearly as scary as I’d thought it would be. I struggled with the beginning foot and hand holds, figuring out how to distribute my weight, push myself up with my legs. I kept saying, “I’m not as strong as you guys are.” But I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. My sister yelled up to me, “You’ve got those dancer’s legs!” The two of them were so encouraging, not for a moment doubting me. I began to trust them, trust myself, trust the rock. I could do this. All I could think about was the rock, me on the rock, and my mind was completely focused in the present in a way it hadn’t been in a long time.

When I reached the ground afterward, I felt sheer bliss and my body was shaking.

This is what I want, I thought. This is where I need to be.

And so now I am back at the beginning, struggling for footholds, losing my grip. I want to be back at the top, where I can feel my strength and that incredible bliss. But I have to work toward that. I have to trust myself that I can get there.


3 thoughts on “my daily art # 17

  1. I remember when I climbed my first 14, 000 foot peaks in the Colorado Rockies—no technical stuff, just hands and feet (Bierstadt, then Long’s then on to ten more 14ers). I felt the same things—terror at falling, at the heights, uncertain of my own endurance, all too aware of my own weakness. I’d never done anything like that before, and I was never as daunted after–not in the same way anyway— ever again. (There have been more terrifying things since, but they were different….but equally as thrilling, if not more so, for surviving/accomplishing/witnessing.)

    I love reading this post: I think it describes the feeling of transition—yes, at times quite magnified—perfectly. And transition seems to be the name of the adulthood game. I also think it describes perfectly the thrill of making it through something we don’t think we can…finding out how much more we are than we think we are.

    You are so amazing in so many ways, Anna. You have my admiration now—and you always have— for the way you live your life, and for the honest and courageous way you share the truth of your experience with the rest of us, thereby making space for us to do the same.

    I love you more than altitude.


  2. Hi Anna, I only met you last Oct but I was so impressed by your play and the opportunity it gave for L. Your themes were adult, passionate and thoughtful and I hope you continue to write. I found a quote someplace from Tolkien that was new to me: All that is gold does not glitter,
    Not all those who wander are lost;

    Enjoy the journey.

  3. Keep on climbing, girl. I’m so sad that I won’t be able to see you before you move away from the city, but I know our paths will cross someday very soon. I love you!

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