Sometime in late 2017, I finally decided, after several years of existing within a trauma-induced limbo, that it was time to get back to being my usual self. I began hiking again and committed to a more regular painting practice. To ground this decision, just before New Year’s, I took myself on a trip to Yosemite National Park and challenged myself to several days of long, high, hard hikes. I went up countless switchbacks. I walked along snowy valley rims. I sat on cold granite at the top of Eagle Peak and watched two ravens converse with each other. At night I painted in my cabin sipping whiskey out of a handmade mug. In the morning I used the same mug to prepare pour-over coffee so that I could do everything all over again. I ate a lot of sandwiches. I enjoyed erratic boulders and the lichen covered pines. It was simple and honest and lovely.
Confident that I could do more of the same, my goal in 2018 was to walk on glaciers. I spent the rest of the year making that happen. And then I painted what I experienced.
Because things that circle around make nice stories, I returned to Yosemite 364 days from my first visit. Again, I went on a long hike. I looked at the valley, at the waterfalls and streams. I looked at the granite slabs — some resting in relationship to one another, other competing for attention. I encountered a coyote during a morning stroll. I painted. I ate more sandwiches. I considered the span of one year and what it meant for me and how that fit into the lifetime of this place.
And when I came home, I cut up a stack of old ink drawings and paintings and made something new with them.
attachment // detachment