The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Posts Tagged ‘esther

Cliff of the Day #2053

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Cliff of the Day #2053

Esther’s back from her year in San Diego, here to stay for the foreseeable future. After a bit of climbing this evening, I found I hadn’t documented her return yet, so I asked her and DJ for a photo. Planned photos are a bit unusual for me, so we weren’t sure how to go about it; Esther decided to climb an invisible cliff, so here we are. DJ seems very much oblivious to the mountain hiding right in front of his face.

It’s good to see her again – climbing is always better with a buddy.

I’ve memorized your face
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Written by Umbrella Man

May 6, 2014 at 11:24 pm

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Cave of the Day #1926

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Cave of the Day #1926

Esther’s holiday return home means I have another climbing buddy for a few days, and another incentive to leave home when I might otherwise let myself turn into jelly. I met her, Clara, and her friend DJ to climb for an hour or so today – a good time, even though I was worn out in only an hour. This route is a fun one: Esther’s next hold takes her to the edge of the cave, a long reach that leaves you dangling freely over the mat.

I’ve been slacking off a little on these cliffs, and haven’t made much progress in the last month or two. Going with friends makes it easier to keep working.

balloon trip breeze

Written by Umbrella Man

December 31, 2013 at 4:14 am

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Sketch of the Day #1787

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Sketch of the Day #1787

Esther collected a few of her friends at the Albatross tonight as part of her farewell. This was the first time I’d gone anywhere with her outside of Bridges, and will be the last time for quite a while. Her friends are fine folks, and the five of us took some time to practice doodle-based communication there in the dim light.

Moving is often a busy, complicated mess, but I hope Esther’s been able to see everyone she meant to. You often can’t say all the goodbyes you wanted, and it’s rare for them to be as elegant as they were in your head.

ends with beginnings

Written by Umbrella Man

August 14, 2013 at 2:54 am

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Photo of the Day #1786

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Photo of the Day #1786

I clambered up the wall alongside Esther, reaching the top in time to get this shot; when she saw me looming at the edge, she knew a photo was soon to follow. The route she was climbing was not an easy one, but she held fast despite the distraction.

Esther’s moving to San Diego in a few days, but we still had time for another session at Bridges, and one more tomorrow. I’m glad I’ve had the chance to meet her here; we’d met a few years ago but never really spoken, and beside the plastic cliffs I was able to get to know her a little.

Taking so many photos at the climbing gym has a tendency to feel monotonous, but it’s been such a big part of my life this year, and I’ve gotten to know so many people there. In this project I need to find a balance between finding creative photographs and documenting my life, but the latter is much more important – especially when it comes to the people I meet.

I wanna see you be brave

Written by Umbrella Man

August 13, 2013 at 3:09 am

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Swing of the Day #1780

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Swing of the Day #1780

The slackest line of all is a confounding thing to consider. I can’t place one foot on it without my leg swiveling like the needle of a seismograph, but other folk, who have mastered the marvel of the human body, can walk up its slope (each end is attached to the ceiling) or surf on self-made waves. Even trying to sit on it sent me reeling backwards, but Esther has mastered making a swing of the line; with a little more time she could probably walk it.

It’s such a fantastic thing to improve at something slowly, incrementally, and grow more comfortable with new things every time you try again.

not another glance

Written by Umbrella Man

August 7, 2013 at 1:02 am

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Push of the Day #1775

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Push of the Day #1775

Esther brought her sister along to Bridges today, adding another climber to our growing roster. Clara’s climbed only once or twice before, but she did very well today, topping V1s on her first attempt. She took a few wavering steps on the slackline, as well, quitting immediately afterwards. She may be a natural at both; she needs only to push a little, overcoming her discomfort with heights and working on her balance with patience.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Clara. She and Esther both have teaching aspirations – Clara just returned from teaching in England – and I think they’ll both be fantastic teachers once they find their place.

on the edge of her bed

Written by Umbrella Man

August 2, 2013 at 2:26 am

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Reach of the Day #1766

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Reach of the Day #1766

These long reaches that demand dynamic motion are often the best. Moving from one hold to the next requires you to place yourself in a perilous position, if only for an instant; you commit to the reach, knowing that hesitating or fumbling might leave you sprawled on the mat below, and catching the grip, reclaiming control over your center of gravity, can be such a satisfying feeling.

The best climbers often manage to forego those unstable moments, moving with perfect ease and grace, never putting themselves at risk of a fall. Others take to the routes with dynos – long jumps requiring the climber to completely break contact with the wall – and pull it off spectacularly.

We haven’t reached that stage yet, but still have our own little triumphs each day. It’s always worth the reach.

something dumb like that

Written by Umbrella Man

July 24, 2013 at 2:05 am

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