Monday, July 14, 2008

Momentary Zen, and the Bridge Between Space and Time

I've been having a difficult time coming up with words to describe this trip, but as a tourist from Spain explained when we were walking the line, "there are no words". Unfortunately I don't know how to put emotions onto a piece of paper, I just don't have the technology, so here is a meager attempt to explain the line that changed my life.

We all grow up with incredible ambition, imagination, creativity, and invulnerability. People grow older and these things wear off. But children are purely and innocently powerful in their abilities to fabricate and follow their dreams. "You can be anything when you grow up!" These words of encouragement dwindle out of the equation as life goes on. So many people give up on dreams, and the pure idea of actualizing those dreams is lost in a hectic world of pressures and status and outward appearances. It is time for people to let go. You can't live life tied to monetary significance or political affiliation or a stereotype of any kind. We are all one living, breathing creature, despite how different we look, we are all the same person.

Dreams are an odd thing. I've said this before and I'll surely say it again: Some people don't have dreams. Other people dream and think how fine their lives could be. They don't change anything. This sounds strange. The actualization of dreams is one of the most amazing things to do with your life. It can bring happiness, joy, enlightenment, and it radiates these things to others around you.

I've had dreams about the Lost Arrow Spire highline for several years now. Ever since I started highlining it has intrigued me. While most people settle for watching videos on youtube and living vicariously through others, they lose sight of their own dreams. Vicarious living is dangerous living as you gain a false sense of accomplishment. It is so easy to do things yourself, to pursue your passions and to live your own life to the fullest that it is sad to see so many let their dreams slip right out from under them. I hate how cliche this sounds, but just do what makes you happy! It will get you out of a comfort zone, and into a better place. Enough about that though, the Spire...

We rigged the Lost Arrow Spire highline in Yosemite last week (55 feet long, 2890 feet high) as well as the second line (110 feet long). You don't know what to expect getting on a highline that big after your highest span was previously 400 feet. The sheer exposure and lunacy of it all is somewhat inundating. It was hard to take in at first. The whole week was a long meditative journey though. I don't ever really meditate in the common sense of the word, but I do actively pursue a higher state of mind, or another level of cognitive existence. Being on a line that high off the ground, it is impossible to walk with a bunch of crap in your head. It has to be clear, free, void of concern or dread or thought of death. I was able to reach that higher state of mind, and everything became clear; time stood still and I was living in a stationary dimension different than all others I have existed in. The future became the present and the past, actually these words became obsolete as space, time, and nothingness conjoined into a beautiful present. It was very surreal and had an ominous "now" feeling to it. I was able to see myself standing on different parts of the line all at once, and could visualize myself in other "places" with lucid thought and clarity. Somehow being on the line, sometimes for minutes upon minutes at a time (as I learned later because I had absolutely no concept of time out there), I could understand my future, because I could see it in front of me. It wasn't 1 dimensional existence, but it was existence in a dimension that can't be understood by an everyday state of mind. It can't be expressed in words, but in emotions and thoughts, it was beautiful.

I hate looking at things in terms of numbers, but I walked the line 36 times and didn't come off it once. I only say this to provide argument for the amazing state of mind and balance of energy and emotion and love that took place out there, precariously perched on that 1 inch piece of man made nylon.

I learned from this trip that no matter what your prior circumstances are, the most important thing in life is to pursue what you are adamantly passionate about, regardless of what that is. Become so incredibly involved, emotionally, in what you do, and love others for what their passions are as well. Live every moment for that moment. I have seen the future and the past, and the present is the most important of the three.


Said said...

You are well spoken Scott. Thanks for attempting to share your experience with us even though words and pictures hardly do justice to the affair with highlining.

Mike Messerli said...


Amazing, simply amazing. You guys are either insane or the great thrill seekers of our day. Thanks for the photos, may I use one of your photos on my blog? They are just so inspiring. thanks, Mike