I'm not certain why I feel off today, but I do. I realize, what with what I'm facing--the known unknown of chemotherapy and radiation and their side effects--that if I didn't have this sort of feeling now and then, I might ought to have my head examined, to make certain that my grasp on reality hasn't loosened to the point of sure and soon release.
So, I'm looking for inspiration to counter my off-attitude, to put it at bay, for now, until next time 'cause realistically I know that it will return; I shall endeavor to be ready for it.
I found today's inspiration in these photos that I took on July 30, 2012, when I was on vacation. Stay-cation. I got a Zipcar and drove up to Larch Mountain, fully intending to walk by myself out to the lookout point and see what I could see. I had read this online: From the north side of the large summit parking lot, hiking trails lead around the volcano's caldera to Sherrard Point with an outstanding view of nearby Mount Hood, Mount Adams, Mount Jefferson, Mount Rainier near Seattle and Mount St. Helens, an active volcano. I figured why not give it a go--I'd seen a photo online of the handrail around the outlook. There are even backless benches waiting for the shaky-kneed hiker.
I didn't know that I'd soon see sights like you see in the photo above--thin air at my right elbow, paralyzing thin air due to my fear of heights. I had no desire to know how high the path I was on clung to the side of the mountain, nor could I have looked that direction for more than a few seconds, if I'd wanted to see for myself. Truth be told, it wouldn't help me one bit to know.
Not yet ready to give up, speaking to myself out loud but softly because other folks--fearless in their steps, breaths, and balance--walked along now and then, I kept going forward. Then I sighted these railroad-tie steps ahead. Steps of any kind without handrails strike me as dicey at best, flat-out frightening at worst.
I sat on a low wall that supported the packed dirt of a trail going a different direction. I monitored my breathing and my heart rate and my energy level and made my decision. Use what I had left to get back to the car. Come back some day with my sons and make the walk to the lookout point. I haven't done that yet, and I have not given up on making the effort. I won't be off forever.