Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Let's Go Hunting

I stumbled upon this poem by Hafiz of Shiraz in Daniel Ladinsky's The Gift last night. It seems remarkably right-on for Solo in Tandem...

Hunting party
Sometimes has a greater chance

Of flushing love and God
Out into the open

Than a warrior

We are all strong huntresses (and hunters) of rock though we accomplish so much more when we are part of this incredible tribe - even when we go it solo.

So, lets go hunting. 'Cause I'm starting to get hungry and my diet has been too lean on granite and sandstone lately.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

We're not alone, we're together.

"What I realized last night as we were all sitting and spewing our hearts out, was that for us, as women, being together is our solo. When else do we get that kind of space for ourselves? When else can we talk freely, honestly, and not fear interruption or ridicule? When else can we sit under the stars, and just be, not 'alone' -- you know, the way men see us when we're without them -- but together? We're on solo from our lives as women. And we love it."
- From We Are Not Alone, an essay by Alison Watt, in Solo On Her Own Adventure

We're women. And we like men a lot. We both owe a tremendous debt to the men in our lives... the dads who pitched canvas tents in the yard for us to sleep in during summer nights and who dragged us out camping and hiking when we were surly teenagers.

The dad who, when Teresa went to go bike around the Big Island of Hawaii, pulled her aside and told her how proud he was, and that he'd always wanted to do something similar but never did.

The dad who, during a rare late night phone conversation, told me that he'd always dreamed of climbing Mount Rainier, and was so incredibly proud of me for doing it.

Men have played a part in each of our lives as climbers. Of the partners, friends, and teachers who have been most influential in our climbing lives, many of them are men. And to them we owe a debt of gratitude for the influences they've had. In climbing, and in life.

And, that said, this year is about climbing with other women.

Hopefully our manfriends will forgive us... hopefully you men listening to our story won't feel left out... but we've both spent a lot of time cleaning gear and a little time placing it, and we're really excited about working together to learn to be more independent as climbers. Somehow, climbing together, and with other women, feels like the right way for us to work toward our goals.

(a side note: again, manfriends, I hope you wont be offended. I have learned so much from you. For whatever reason, when it's just the girls climbing is not only a team sport, or about providing the support to get my partner where they want to go. But it's also an individual activity. Climbing with the girls, I feel less like a tag-along - I climb for me, I climb in pursuit of my goals, while climbing with my girls too. It's not mutually exclusive. I can't say why it's different, that's for Psychology Today to analyze, it just is. ~Teresa)

There's so much emphasis in adventure culture on doing things alone. Epic solos. Solo travel. And that growth and evolution only come from time spent alone.

We've both done stuff alone. And it's been great (mostly). (and we're good at doing stuff alone ~T) And we'll do other stuff alone. But this year, we're going to do stuff together and with our other amazing woman friends. To learn -- together -- how to be independent. We'll travel Solo in Tandem.

2011: The Year of Big Ideas

Teresa and I met for the first time sometime around the beginning of 2010, at the Season launch party hosted by our mutual friends Fitz and Becca. Our paths crossed again later that spring at the Red Rock Rendezvous. I was ... um ... between residences at the time, and Teresa had a room for rent. We've been friends, housemates, and adventure partners ever since.

When Becca called to ask if we'd be interested in sharing a story for the Dirtbag Diaries Year of Big Ideas 2011, it seemed the perfect chance to talk for the first time about what we've been cooking up around the kitchen table for the last few months.

We'll unveil all the details in the coming months, but for now -- here's a little bit of inspiration for your year of big ideas in 2011. We're tucked in there somewhere, sharing the nuggets behind Solo in Tandem.