July 2009 – Week 1

July 8, 2009

I have been writing more in my entries for this first week of July. So much so that I feel I should break up what would be a large month long entry into week entries.

Below you will read that I injured my eyeball. I am doing great, it is healing fast, the bump feeling is gone, and I thank my body for it’s amazing ability to heal itself. And no, I did not go to the doctor.


DAY 819 07.01.09 – Small Tulip Poplar on grassy curved steps at Waterfront. I climbed up to the top as fast as I could, but didn’t time it. Was probably about 10-15 seconds, but this was a small tree. I found a small leaf that I thought was the most beautiful and plucked it. I climbed back down and held the leaf in my mouth while I did a few back flips off steps, benches, picnic tables, and walls. Then I walked back home balancing on the railroad track. When I was near home I met my two lips to my Tulip Poplar leaf and let it float to the ground.

DAY 820 07.02.09 – I biked to Cherokee to drop off rent then went down to Big Rock. I put my bike on my shoulder and walked the trail till I found a tree. A tall Maple caught my eye with it’s challenging few branches. I shimmied and climbed up, confident I could easily accomplish the challenge. I appreciated the height I gained and gave all the branches around me at the top high fives. Then I noticed another branch from another tree was easily in reach.

When I identified the tree and realized it was across the street I gave kudos to the branch for gaining such a reach in its life. I was truly in awe and grateful for these trees. And when I made my way back down and accidentally broke a small branch of the Maple tree I felt bad and apologized to it. I feel there is a mutual respect between me and the trees and it is in that bond that I can remain safe and reach such levels of contentment.

DAY 821 07.03.09 – I was drawn stronger and stronger towards a Cedar tree in Cherokee Park.

It is one I had climbed back in the winter during a freezing rain storm. With the ice sticking to the trunk and limbs, the first reach to the lowest limb took some considerable courage and the help of my bike leaning against the trunk as a ladder. This time I was able to run up the trunk and grab the branch with my right hand even with my messenger bag over my shoulder. I did my best to snake in between the low, dead limbs so as not to break them. Then towards the top freely moved upward with clear, clean progress. Moving fast and efficient is truly a high. At the top I was thankful for bringing my camera. I could see a few buildings of the skyline with the lowering sun hiding behind the clouds just above.

The colors were rich in the twilight and my gratitude for the tree grew.

I thought about finding a spot to read but the steeply angled branches prevented idea so I decided to head back down and was content with the coming end of the climb. I dropped and walked to the playground to sit on a bench and start reading East of Eden. I paused every so often to jot down thoughts. An intensely internal evening.

(Some extra shots from the climb I liked so much I wanted to share.)
(Look at the different greens!)

DAY 822 07.04.09 – A tree poked me in the eye. Hard. No. I ran into a dead limb that was so perfectly straight ahead of me that my eyes did not perceive its presence. I was running, taking a step off a bench to jump over the back, grab a branch and swing through. But instead, when I went up on the bench the limb went into the left side of my left eye and pressed in very hard. I recoiled back and immediately cupped my hand over my eye. PAIN. Worry. Laughs and jokes from the other Parkour guys there. Then concern since I was frantically pacing holding my eye and groaning. They took a look at it and said my eyeball was bleeding. The limb had cut the white of my eye. It felt like something was in my eye, but no, it was the white part split and bumped up. I was frustrated, still am, but thankful I still have my eye and that I can see fine out of it. It is just going to take time to heal. The entire socket feels bruised and is very sensitive to any pressure. Shaman took me home and I spent the entire rest of Independence Day alone at home, in bed or on the couch watching movies, playing guitar, feeling sorry for myself. But before all that shit happened I did successfully climb that tree, jump over the bench and swing on the limb, all kinds of fun stuff. So it was my climb for the day and my injury for the day. Yay!

DAY 823 07.05.09 – Tree at Roderick’s house with Rickey & Ryan before bowling. Ryan took a couple shots from the sidewalk despite the encroaching darkness. I opened my cell phone to create a locating light.

(Thanks for taking the photo, Ryan!)

DAY 824 07.06.09 – After dinner with Drew at Simply Thai in St. Matthew’s I drove to Seneca Park. I walked to the north end of the loop by the tennis courts and spotted a very tall Tulip Poplar that drew me in. Before I attempted to shimmy the very large trunk I spotted a frightened squirrel a few feet up. I warned him that I was coming and then I jumped, squeezed, and failed. The combination of my sandals and roughness of the bark made the climb seem impossible. I told the squirrel he could relax, and I went to a smaller Poplar a few feet away. This one took a few run up attempts before I could grab the lowest limb. But once in I dealt with many dead limbs, spiders, ants, webs, and other various insects. It was a thick conglomeration of small life. I pushed past to get to the top then got a call from my bro. I reclined and we talked for a while as the sun light turned orange on the clouds I could see through the leaves. Then I climbed down.

DAY 825 07.07.09 – I saw a movie with Natalie at Baxter Theater and when we got out it was dark. I had been waiting for the day to cool down to climb. We biked to Cherokee and I found a nice Beech with numerous branches, particularly some really convenient low and horizontal ones. We climbed and enjoyed the strong moonlight of the night. Once we reached our high points we talked and slowly moved down every so often since sitting in trees gets uncomfortable fast. At the bottom I found a perfect place to lay back on three limbs. We discussed an art project idea of mine which was really nice then dropped down and left. It was a good tree, very nice to share it with Natalie, and a comfortable spot I’ll remember for the future.