July 15, 2023

Every bit of air


Last weekend, at Whittaker’s Bunkhouse in Ashford, Washington, I was packing my Deuter Aircontact Lite when I learned I’d been packing all wrong. Francisco, who was to be one of three on my rope team for Rainier, yanked out my neatly squared-away gear, unfurled it, and began shoving it back into the nylon abyss. The result: newfound space from the same assortment of objects, sorted differently.

I unlocked a potent metaphor in that moment. Sometimes all the folding, rolling, kneading, sealing, stacking, zipping, clicking, and cynching is for naught. The most efficient way to pack a backpack is to shove shit in, taking up every available nook. I was dumbfounded.

Tonight I rediscovered my own website and blew off some thick digital dust. Haven’t set foot in here for months. I was on a streak for a while of uploading old school essays that would have otherwise sat on a drive somewhere until the day I died. Thought it’d be neat to backdate them and see my authorial voice evolve over time. Turn a cringe-fest into a teaching moment with a side of humility.1

Some of the old uploads I’d added footnotes to with Wikipedia linkouts for context. The essay I uploaded tonight,2 however, seemed ripe for some direct hyperlinkage, so I started linking inline instead of burying sources at the bottom. I then realized I may have initially gone with footnotes to not interrupt reading flow—you might otherwise get easily sidetracked, tripping down a tab-based rabbit hole with a cat’s curiosity and a happy clicker-finger.

I then realized that what’s most important is getting up the mountain while conserving as much energy as possible so you can get back down,3 or being maximally efficient and minimally organized—or being organized in an unituitive way. Shoving it in. And so, against my better judgement, I must favor filling all possible air space of this internet enclave lest I end up with something beautifully organized and woefully void of substance.

Yet another post about posting to avoid actually having to post. The mind of a writer is the mind of us all. It’s 1:30am when I set the dehumidifier to go off (same as turn on in English), assuming I’d be asleep by now and it wouldn’t hinder my getting to sleep. Just scared the daylights out of me. And now that the daylights have vacated, it is time to vacate the land of the lucid for some progesterone-fueled dreamscape. Away.

  1. You too can get paid for your words, even if at one point you sounded like me! I wouldn’t have believed it myself, but here we are now.↩︎

  2. It’s late. I’m tired. I only intended to upload something old so I could feel like I’d done something productive, but that thought bit me in the ass when I saw I’d last made an original post in September of last year. So here we are. Inspiration is in many ways like libido: It ebbs and flows. Being turned on isn’t always convenient. You can coax it, but the result won’t be as satisfying as taking care of it in the moment.↩︎

  3. Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” —Ed Viesturs, probably.↩︎

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