Friday, February 20, 2009

Just a Few Memories

Canoeing through a Mayan burial cave on an underground river, neon tetras swimming in the water below.

Flesh standing up to steel at an ancient vision-quest sight.

Chichu with a reformed cannibal in the Ecuadorian selva.

Sword fights lit by construction lights in a half-finished building.

Climbing through an actual ventilation duct- it's not like the movies.

Fine Islay scotch on the shoulder of a Cascade mountain under the aurora borealis.

Practice pursuit driving at PIR.

Putting on the black armor and checking weapons and coms.

Water erupting from the solid rock in a cascade deep underground.

Falling asleep with a cougar.

Looking into the eyes of a wild wolf.

Running through a desert night with the stars so bright that the sagebrush glowed.

Jumping out: arch, look, reach, pull, check...check canopy and looking at my own boots at 5000 ft.

The plane takes off to go to a new country, a war zone. Glance out the window and all of the airport staff are outside in the hot sun, saluting, sending us off.

Motoring fast up the Rio Napo.  

The first time kissing my lover goodbye thinking I might not see her again.

The tenth time, wife now. Different, deeper, but still spectacular.

Smoking a naghila with orange tobacco at Christmas with the muezzin calling outside.

Midnight crepes in Vieux Montreal with a table-full of strangers, fascinating, intelligent, skilled strangers.

The rough skin of a living shark.

The kind of job that requires a laptop and an assault rifle.

The gift of a t-shirt from a foreign elite unit.

Offered, and turned down, a "temporary wife" in a country where I am told that doesn't happen.

Sitting in a hot spring on a mountain in a desert with snow all around and an air temperature about 10F.

18 year-old scotch with a general who has been fighting his entire adult life as a woman sings in a dialect that neither of us understands.

Speed rappelling into icy cold water and swimming out to a mountain pool.

Bowling in Iraq, forty miles from the Iranian border.

Chess with murderers, and combat too.

Earning the trust of a low-functioning autistic schizophrenic and helping him control his life.

Talking down a 210 pound threat in excited delirium.

Sitting in a class where a nationally recognized expert says that is impossible.

Squeezing through a tight hole that opens into the ceiling of a sixty-foot high cave chamber. Squeeze to rope in a heart beat.

A wild horned lizard in Washington state.

Jumping on a train in motion. Easy if slow. Tried it once at speed, not a good thing.

Making fire with a bow drill.

Wading medical equipment across an amazonian tributary.

Drinking aguardiente and telling stories with close friends.

Seeing my book for sale in the local book store.

Looking down on an eagle in flight from a 5.9 climb.

And, of course, an ostrich in a sweater. Very amazed at my life right now.


Steve Perry said...

Nice flow.

Neal said...

My retired next door neighbor has a more exciting life than I're just rubbing it in. Pics please!