Has it really been a month since I got back from the Alps? My good intentions to write a full trip report got quickly lost in an August full of upheaval and change, but as the dust settles into the beginning of September (one of my favourite months) I am beginning to make the time to think about those awe-inspiring two weeks in Switzerland and smile wistfully at the memories I have of crossing those eleven mighty mountain passes. Would you believe I haven’t even looked through my photos yet, let alone done the slide-show for nearest and dearest?
I can’t just blame time though; it’s also inclination. These days I am getting more and more lackadaisical with writing up my trips. In part this is because I find it difficult to convey my true feelings about such adventures – the words just seem to melt from the page as I write, and every sentence put down feels like I’m disappointing the subject. And this from a writer! You see, a lot of people write about their trips and many people do it very well, but for me time spent outside (particularly that spent alone) is usually something akin to a spiritual experience and how on earth do you articulate that without reducing it to the banal? How do you do that without sounding too kooky? Do you care about the logistics of my trip – how I booked the huts and how I chose my food? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Truthfully, I don’t care much about writing about it though and my e-door is always open anyway to anyone who wants to ask me for the logistical details so that you can recreate your own trips. But does that make for the words I am excited to write and which I’m excited for you to read? I’m not convinced.
If I’m honest – and I do like to be honest - I would rather take the word-space to tell you about the transcendent experience of walking alone all day every day in the some of the finest mountains on earth for two weeks. I would like to give you some insight into the journal I kept religiously along the way. The two books that I filled with creative ideas and philosophical musings. Perhaps some snippets of poems that came to me half formed and which are yet to be worked on. I’d like to tell you what I think about when I run, and why it might matter. I’d like to share how I feel when I launch my kayak into the sea and feel awash with fear and excitement. This is the stuff that fills my heart with joy; my outdoors. And it’s this type of relationship with the outdoors that I am interested in working with, with you.
So, I’m going to talk about these things more, because there’s no better time than now on the cusp of so much exciting change. I’m not going to worry about describing routes unless it’s pertinent to the bigger point, I’m only going to tell you about the things that made a real difference – the most comfortable pack I’ve even worn in my life, or the campsite that changed my perspective of wild - and I’m not going to fret about the lag time between trips and posts. Instead, I’m going to write about it all when the words are ready to be written because I’m a firm believer in the right time, of cycles, and that everything has a rhythm of its own. That things worth saying are timeless.
I would like to learn how to write my way again in the long-form; taking my ideas beyond the paragraph-space of Instagram and bringing it here more. I need to harness that deep vitality I feel in my head when I go outdoors (be it to walk, cycle, run, climb or kayak) in a way that is engaging and relevant to someone other than me. It’ll take time to get right no doubt, but I have time. We all have time to get the important things right.
So let’s see about this. Let’s try it out.