the smell of rain soothes my tired mind. the scent brings me back to the spring days of my childhood. an innocent boy with innocent thoughts. hard to relate to that kid i once was. yet it remains some small slice of this person i've become. a fumbling man full of faults, fears and doubts. this constant work in progress.
child greg was an imaginative little boy. he had a closet full of imaginary friends with whom he would often share his thoughts and feelings. he loved to draw. he loved to build forts out of the cushions from the sofa, in which he'd sit with piles of books. he loved to get dirty, digging up rocks and stream beds to find some new object of fascination and wonder. a tiny beetle. a colony of ants. a dragonfly larvae clinging tenaciously to the underside of a slimy stone. child greg enjoyed school. he was fascinated by the colour of the world. he would spend hours pouring over pictures from his dad's national geographic collection, imaginging himself in those exotic locations. befriending gorillas. scaling mountains. escaping erupting volcanoes.
child greg, for all his aspirations of exploration, was a timid boy. he was often frustrated at his inability to relate with his everyone, which he assumed was necessary to make friends and be normal. in hindsight i'm happy that little greg didn't share as much in common with his classmates as he'd hoped. it pushed him beyond the boundaries of existence in hr. breton.
teenage greg remained timid. he shyed away from violence and aggression. he was awkward with girls. he fell in love with music. nirvana. the smashing pumpkins. metallica. each provided a thesaurus for his developing emotions. it also spurreed him to learn to play the guitar. which in turn provided an outlet for those new emotions. teenage greg had his heart broken. it callused his openness and trust in women and would cause problems for him down the road.
young man greg left home and was forced into a wider, wilder world. he was excited with his studies at the university, but his timidness held him back. his fractured interests made it difficult for him to settle on one field of study. it wasn't until a wiry haired british philosphy professor ignited a spark in him that he knew where his path lay. young man greg got a girlfriend which ended up being more of an education for him than university. it pointed out his selfishness. his stubbornness. his manipulatveness. things to which this day he works to iron out of existence.
young man greg also went climbing. although he did 'learn' to climb, it was more like he learned that he was a climber. always was. always would be. that new found passion would be the catalyst for the coup d'etat on timid. it would help him the develop the courage to face the world head on and to jump into the unknown with willing anticipation. that, more than anything else has brought me here. through a move halfway around the world. through a new career as a teacher. through another educating relationship. through countless travels and adventures. to back in sokcho. teaching. climbing.
ten years of climbing. i have had some minor scrapes and bruises. some torn muscles. and more seriously, a sliced achilles tendon and a broken back. oddly enough, the more serious the injury i've incurred, the more fired up and passionate i become upon my return. after a year off of climbing following the achilles incident, i came back to climbing revitalized and with a whole new attitude of appreciation and acceptance. after the back incident, i've come back once more to be even more excited and strong than i was when i was forced off the rock. climbing continues to be my greatest teacher.