We were climbing together the other day hanging upside-down inside this cave at Brooklyn Boulders. I could see the next move that this route was taking, this hold outside of the cave. I couldn't reach. I was going to have to throw myself fully into it. commit.
14 year old says, 'Go for it!'
35 year Morgan says, 'This is crazy.'
8 years ago I came to Chicago to save what was left of a marriage. I stayed. Perhaps I stayed out of self-inflicted punishment. Punishment for failing myself, her, my (our) dreams.
I went to work. I withdrew and hid behind entertainment. I found the practice of ashtanga yoga. I went through personal studies and struggles. I became friends with a dark lonely place. I worked towards happiness and found hatred and comparison there. The more I looked the farther it became. The harder I pushed myself the less happier I became. I lost.
At some point I put down the lantern that was spot-lighting this cave.
Perhaps I put it down after pulling out my back, or ending a troubled relationship. Perhaps I put it down when I was recognized but more importantly when I allowed myself to be accepted as recognized.
I can't put a specific moment or place to it. I do know that it was put down and darkness followed.
This darkness was not frightening. There was a comfort there. There were no longer distractions. I found a 14 year old boy, a part of myself that I had stuffed away, or sent away. (14 year old Morgan probably ate him out of self-loathing)
We went climbing together.
We did things considered fun, play-time.
He showed me how to monkey around. How to hold on with two fingers and determination. He taught me to fall and to try again. He was able to be the man that he wanted to be when he grew up.
Inside grew a light.
The cave was illuminated from within and joy was in everything..
The introvert in me likes the safety of this cave. He can fall back into comfort and withdraw.
The next move in the route is outside the cave. I can't reach it staying inside. I will have to leap while hanging upside-down and trust that the next hold is secure and enough to get my fingers around.
14 year old Morgan says, 'Go for it!'
I swing a little to build up the momentum and throw my left hand for the hold. It lands. The right hand crosses over and I loose my feet. HOLD ON, the voice inside screams, take a breath find new footing and continue. I make it.
Certainty wan't there. Inside the cave I could have held on, let go and fall into darkness again. The fall was cushioned. Falling was not part of the path that determination wanted me to take.
There is a route leading me away from Chicago. The light I found inside myself is saying go for it. Trust yourself.
On July 29 I will be swinging out, taking a leap and heading to California. I will be in the Los Angeles area studying with Certified Ashtanga teacher Jorgen Christiansson at Omkar108.
Chicago has allowed me to find my inner light and although I am not from there, my chosen family is there and she will always be home to me.