Saturday, February 16, 2008

Tamales in Space

"If you are meant to be a tamale, the leaves that you are to be wrapped in will fall from Heaven"

This was how my friend Lauren closed her last e-mail to me, a quote she picked up somewhere in Latin America I believe. And I thank her for this wisdom. My energy was going too much into thinking of what I should do with my life, rather than just living.

However her quote is not to contradict the thoughts of Charles Baudouin, "An idea upon which attention is peculiarly concentrated is an idea which tends to realize itself."

Nor is it contradictory to Professor Thomas Davidson, "Associate with the noblest people you can find; read the best books; live with the mighty. But learn to be happy alone. Rely upon you own energies and so not wait for or depend on other people."

A noble life is what I seek. No one, nor any thing, can either give this to me nor take it away.

Dressed in rags or surrounded by riches, life brings on wave after wave of change. It is how we posture ourselves, how we interact with that change, how we carry ourselves and treat the world around us that defines our character, who we are.

The culture and physical surroundings change constantly for me as I travel, challenging me to maintain my posture, maintain my mental faculty. It is a test and a lesson at once.

The sun shining brightly between low puffy cumulous couds, a towering granite mountain to the south, we spotted each other from far off in the park like plaza, our faces breaking into smiles as we ran to meet each other. 12 noon, February 15, I began my travels with Lindsay.

We quickly postulated our plans for the coming days and weeks; we will prepare today, and travel 75km south tomorrow to the remote Cerro Castillo, a craggy mountainscape of waterfalls and glaciers, where we will walk 62 kilometers through Cerro Castillo Park. As we exit the park we will rejoin the Austral Highway, our road to the park, and continue south via the myriad of roadways through southern Argentina and Chile onwards to our destination of Puerto Natales, and Torres del Paine National Park. There we will once agian stock up on food, enter the park, and embark on a 10 day hike through the wilderness of the far southern region of Patagonian Chile.

It is sure to be a trip of many challenges, smiles, and adventures unforseen. We are prepared with wit, physical ability, quite a lot of food, cameras, and technical outdoor clothing available for this type of adventure. We will test our friendship, our bodies, or minds, and surely learn a lot along the way.

Keep an eye out for a post in a week or so, as it will be at least 5 days from now before we are back to electricity and may be able to post again. I'll be posting again some time between Cerro Castillo and Torres del Paine.

Thanks for all the e-mail, it lifts my spirits.



  1. i pedaled my suv around in the sunshine today for what felt like the first time in years. the road was covered in a half an inch of packed snow which, for the first time this winter, my wheels rolled over as if built for ice instead of asphalt. it was glorious.

    the winter here has been dark and snowy and it has been hard to keep the spirits up. today helped.

    knowing that somewhere at the other end of the world the sun is shining, the grass is warm and my friend is actualizing his dreams of climbing distant mountains, cultivating relationships both familiar and new, and journeying inward trying to find what might be hiding helps even more.

    far away love to you.

  2. i miss you so much! I read this online today: Political contestation itself can—and, indeed, must—be a pleasure that is located in desire and carried out in love. Love you and can't wait to see you in NY!