Dead Disciple

Here is a journal entry from a couple years ago when I could not deal with rejecting Christianity.  Ironically, it was when I was finally able to accept that I was not a Christian that I could look clearly at what I did believe.  In turn I became a Christian again, albeit an entirely different Christian.


     It is savage being a disciple of Yours - an uphill battle with no reward. I begrudgingly lift my foot to make each step. While there is no desire to continue I find that I cannot bear the thought of giving up.

     I have yelled my way through difficult moves while climbing, but what about the times I yelled for no specific reason? The times when in solitude I belted at the top of my lungs? In retrospect, I wonder if I was simply yelling at You, Jesus. I wonder when I will yell again. Ultimately, I wonder if I'll ever have the courage to tell You that You are full of it. I admit that I started to the other day, only to be suddenly halted by an irrational concern for my life. Is it really fear that is holding me here?

      This is ridiculous. I have experienced you in the most beautiful ways my imagination could conjure. Where and when did we go so far south? Of course You don't answer me. Well. I'll ask you again then. Why?! Why stick to your guns by staying silent when You know it risks losing a disciple?




   The idea of God sending people to Hell is f**ed up. (I censored that for the conservatives.) I cannot think of a more harsh or more accurate way of wording such a disgusting view. The average life expectancy in the United States is 78 years. As far as I can tell, most people are not even comfortable with who they are until their prefrontal cortex has fully developed around the age of 25. This means ⅓ of life is spent becoming an adult, another ⅓ is spent asleep, and with the rest of it humans are supposed to make a living and decide their fate at the pearly gates? Even with my extremely limited view of justice I can see that something is amiss.

   They say that Hell is essentially the absence of God’s presence, because in the presence of God there can be no sin. They also say that God is omnipresent. Which is it? I am confused how both can exist. Does that mean God is absent from this earth? Because sin is obviously rampant here. With that logic, Earth must be Hell. How does Emmanuel, or “God with us,” fit into this view?

   Then people continue, “God is perfect and at the end of time He will justly judge the nations. Things will be made right.” Did Jesus not offer the Kingdom to the prostitutes, demon possessed and thieves (aka tax collectors)? Does that version of “right” fit into our view of Hell? But now if you are born a homosexual you are going to Hell. I seem to recall Jesus having more problems with the condescending pious of that age than those who were not qualified for the religion of Judaism.

   I get it, though. I must sound like an angry person rambling on in an incomplete and irrational argument. You're probably right. But, how can the eternal torture of a human being not anger you? I am often tempted to just throw the baby out with the bathwater, even though I know how wrong that would be.

    So, if Hell does exist, is it mandated by God or His justice? Would you die for someone simply to subject them to eternal torture later on? As I ponder the Bible in its entirety, this does not seem to be the case. I do not see a God that wishes to send people to an eternal place of “gnashing of teeth.” Instead I see a graceful God who offers his Kingdom to the last people on earth that I would offer it to. Is there enough grace in your belief system for those people, or perhaps all His grace was used up on you?





    Lent is a season for disciples to prepare for the immanent cross. This of course means joining Jesus for his 40 days in the desert. In order to be equipped for the cross, we must first be able to stand confidently as children in whom God is well pleased. Undoubtedly, we will leave the desert stronger than we have ever been. And as we walk away from that place, the distant murmurs and mumbles become solidified into an urgent statement, "the Kingdom of God is at hand!"

      Yet, moments later such clarity can turn to fragments. In the reality of our lives, it feels as though the Kingdom of God is not at hand. There are times when we want to stand in front of Jesus and say "you will not go to the cross," because a kingdom without a king is not much to speak of. Still, Jesus’ face conveys a sly smirk and a glow of confidence as we attempt to tell him the trajectory of His Kingdom. He clearly knows something we do not.

      In response to our confusion Jesus tells a parable with a timeless echo. It’s not the most appealing example, but Jesus begins "the kingdom of God... is like a mustard seed,” or in language we can more plainly understand, "the Kingdom of God is like a weed." The Kingdom will succeed as much as a weed succeeds in overtaking a field or a lovely garden, if not meticulously defended against. The Kingdom is the dandelion in the lawn of our lives. Give it time, before we know it there will be no lawn.

       So as we make the trek with Jesus to Jerusalem, we are not worried when He takes a "wrong" turn towards the cross.  We put away our swords and gladly join Him with the hope that in His dying the Kingdom will prevail. Because, as children of God, we are confident that the Kingdom is at hand and will remain so for all eternity.



The Van Life

Yes, former self, those are called wrenches...

Van Gogh.  That's what I like to call him.  Van Gogh is a 1970 VW bus.  If you have yet to catch the pun in his name, does Van Go(gh) help?  Indeed my van goes and has gone for me since January of 2008.  It is not difficult to imagine the mechanical ignorance of a Senior in high school.  There I was with a fresh paint job, rebuilt engine and absolutely no concept of what I would do if Van Gogh were to ever break down.  Nevertheless, I bought a Craftsmen toolkit and the well respected VW "dummie manual" aka the "Manual for the Compleat Idiot."  Yes, "complete" is misspelled intentionally.  

First road trip in Van Gogh

Come August of 2008, I wrapped up the final loose ends on Van Gogh, deciding a road trip was imminent.  1,152 miles and 16 days later I arrived at Vanguard University where Van Gogh would essentially be living for the next four years.  While the year of 08-09 saw many surf trips and nights spent in Van Gogh it was not until the summer of 09 that I proudly pulled the plug on living in a place for the summer break, believing that Van Gogh would make as good a home as any apartment or house could.  The prep for such an adventure seemed long and tedious, leaving the necessary work partially undone as the school year unwound into the summer.  The inevitable laziness on my part led to "temporary" refuge with friends, ultimately leaving nothing more than a handful of nights spent in my, oh so sweet, home.   

(One of many) surf trip(s) Freshman year to Jalama

Spring break 2010 UCSD parking lot. Our "campsite" of choice for the week.

As Sophomore year launched, I was back into the dorms again, leaving Van Gogh vacant.  However, as you would expect, Sophomore year resulted in even more surf trips with more people, clearly meaning more nights spent in Van Gogh than the previous year.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was steadily moving in the direction of Van Gogh becoming (more or less) my permanent home.  One week in particular stands out from the collage of memories that year.  Spring break 2010.  Five of us loaded up in Van Gogh and headed for San Diego on a surf trip.  By some form of magic we managed to squeeze all five people onto Van Gogh's "z bed" each night, like sardines in a can.  The idea being that all five would sleep, of course.  Obviously, sleep became a prized item found only by the luckiest of us and never lasted for any.  Needless to say, our week long trip to San Diego contained some of the worst nights of sleep I have ever had.  

Holcomb Valley with Jon Kraina

Joshua Tree

Junior and Senior year at Vanguard University came along with rent, jobs and a diminishing amount of trips.  The nights spent in Van Gogh were near non-existent.  On the surface I was oblivious, but subconsciously I missed it.  Senior year in particular I found myself working valet far too many hours and not traveling near enough.  By the time graduation came around in May of 2012, I picked up rock climbing, birthing a powerful desire to be out and about (wherever that may be).  The sentiment simply could not be ignored.  Van Gogh and I became close again.  Before I knew exactly what was happening, Van Gogh readily adopted the role of my home as well as my transportation.   

Van Gogh looking pretty in Utah

These days, Van Gogh and I are always on the move.  One day we could be in Bishop fly-fishing or bouldering and the next day in Red Rocks on a multi-pitch.  Some months we find ourselves on an extended road trip whose life exists as long as the money does.  The van life is not only liberating, but ideal; a life that makes sense amongst many other choices that do not.  While I am told that one day this lifestyle will die off and I will settle into a "real" home, I am less than inclined to believe it; such comments sounding like a fish deciding that air is better than water. 

A video sent to Nolan Van Herk from Maple Canyon Utah because we know he loves this song

Sometimes things magically appear in your morning coffee

Post interior work on the van.  No recollection of what I was doing, just that I got really dusty.

On another road trip Freshman year to go surf

Utah is beautiful

Morning devotional in Maple Canyon

Morning in Joshua Tree



Joshua Tree

For the past week I have been clinging to a (pseudo) hope of writing a quality and creative post on the latest trip out to Joshua Tree with my good friend Cody Adams.  The days have crept by, each day with not much more than a quickly fleeting thought on how to write such a post.  Determined to make my hope a reality, yesterday I spent an hour in a coffee shop (coffee shops are where I am most productive).  While I'm sure any onlooker clearly saw the focus on my face, I left that building in the downtown of Ashland, Oregon having consumed 350 calories of croissant, 128 mg of caffeine and without producing a single word of content.  

Cody reaching the top on Pinhead... my favorite (no star) v1

My roadblock was (and is) the desire I have for my writing to give justice to a place I am so passionate about.  Joshua Tree, you see, is the place we went to from the beginning of our climbing days.  Cody, Christian, Dave, Chris and I did one climbing trip per week.  One.  Every Wednesday night we would discuss our options of where to climb the next day; obviously Joshua Tree was high on the list.  In J Tree we would run out 5.9 R, sew up 30 ft. 5.7's,  boulder without spotters (or pads), rodeo clip every clip, let first-time belayers belay us on our first trad leads, etc.  I can only imagine the cringing on the faces of other climbers as they watched us.  Regardless, we made it out alive and miraculously the gumby death grip always saw us safely to the top of climbs.   

Back in the day.  Probably explaining how "gnarly" the crimp move was on a 10a

I imagine we were aware of the rope that we had tied into and the protection we had either placed or clipped below us, but I doubt we believed it would do any good.  Obviously, the doubt doing wonders for our onsight abilities.  Every climb was climbed like a free solo.  Except for Christian, of course.  If Cody, Chris, or I were ever unsure of the lead, we all knew Christian would take over.  

The magical Thanksgiving dinner

A couple months into climbing it was surely time to step up our game from these derisory one day trips and finally do a 3 day trip - we must have felt like such cool climbers.  Well.  It just so happened that we planned this trip around Thanksgiving.  So.  We rallied with the Haslett's in Joshua Tree.  Being Thanksgiving, Shannon figured she would simply make a turkey at the campsite while we were out climbing.  To this day I have no idea how she did it.   

Meandering around Geology Tour Road in Joshua Tree with Dan Delange and Chris Danco

Anyway, more months went by and life rolled on.  For a few it rolled away from climbing, for others life rolled on to new locations, like Montana or the Dominican Republic.  I, however, stayed put, still as passionate about climbing as ever.  Shortly thereafter, I decided to pick up a seasonal job at the Gear Coop in order to get gear at wholesale price.  Here I met Dan "Mumbles" DeLange, the sommelier of Joshua Tree.  I had never met anyone so willing to go on trips every week.  With Dan we seemed to average at least 4 days a week climbing outside.  Things were changing.  Climbing became serious.  I was no longer the one being cringed at.  By this point I had become confident in my abilities as a climber.

Cody looking like he wants that kneebar

However, despite the will of the gods, even Dan lost his psych.  Yet, my stoke and passion for climbing remained undeterred and even to this day that stands true.  So.  When I get the privilege of going to Joshua Tree with such a good friend as Cody, you can imagine how it drives me to write something to reflect how epic our trip felt.  But.  In all honesty nothing epic happened.  Nothing epic needed to happen.  Epic events were not a stipulation to make our trip epic, if that makes sense.  And here I am now attempting to write a creative post when, perhaps, that as well, is not required. Perhaps the mediocrity I have provided will suffice. 

Cold morning in Joshua Tree with Christian, Summer and Jon Kraina... I think this was from our first 3 day trip.

VW's at the campsite.  That's always a site for sore eyes.

Last year when I did Nicole Overhang and felt like a baller for doing a v6

Frye Problem... super good

We all can relate to this

"You got the spot?!" "yeah yeah, I got you..."



Smith Rocks

Driving through Oregon is both mystical and magical.  Mystical primarily because it feels as if the ever-plentiful pine trees should be moving and talking like the Ents of Lord of the Rings and magical because as I drove through the snow, ice and forests on my way to Smith Rocks I nearly expected the trees to become animated.  The trees jut up from the earth so tightly knit that I could scarcely spot a gap in the nautical dawn dark.  The fog being dense and heavy seemed to add to the weightiness and possibility of this otherworldly experience.  Eventually the sun perched itself on top of the horizon, somehow persuading the thick forest to let its light permeate and attack the fog head on.  It worked, of course.  The fog reluctantly retreated daring not to admit defeat to the sun.  Yet, the sun perpetually penetrated the darkness of the night, welcoming the day and I was snapped back into reality. 

View of Mt. Thielsen

Weekend at Smith... Crowds are nearly non-existent.

I am driving to Smith Rocks.  Before my Thanksgiving trip to visit family in Southern Oregon I did a simple scanning of Mountain Project and found a trusty climbing partner for Smith Rocks – at least I am hoping he is trusty.  To be honest I am nervous about my yet-to-be-acquainted climbing partner, Kevin.  We briefly talked on the phone before our trip, the conversation leaving me less than inspired.  He seemed shocked that I had my eye on upper end 12’s and low end 13’s for a mere 3 day trip.  He assured me that he was a solid 5.11 climber and had been climbing the grade for years.  My mind drifted into images of those old-school trad climbers that have been short roping and giving rock hard catches for 35 years.  The last thing I want is a belayer who is more scared of me taking a fall than I am.  The situation reeked of gumby.  Well, maybe I am exaggerating a bit.

In any case, I will not be deterred – I am going to Smith Rocks.  Simply saying “Smith Rocks” gets my heart beating.  Smith is home to the classic 14a, To Bolt or Not to Be, that just so happens to be the first 14a in the country.  Rumor is that the biggest hold on this vertical, blank sheet of rock is a 1 inch rounded crimp at the ninth bolt – 100 feet off the deck.  Obviously, I am intrigued.  But.  Not yet.  At least not this trip.  No, I do not climb 14a, but that has never stopped me before.  One glimpse, way back when, and automatically this climb was on the life list.  So.  The pressure is on.  How well will I climb at this notoriously stout crag?  If I cannot climb well at Smith, how will I ever climb the crimpy testpiece To Bolt or Not to Be?  This pressure combined with the uncertainty of my unknown climbing partner has my already cracked fingertips sweating.  

The hardest 12b ever

Okay.  I am finally parked at Smith and ready to go.  I meet Kevin and his girlfriend Haley.  Within a matter of minutes all of my doubts are relieved.  This guy knows how to climb.  Clearly he was sandbagging me.  What he meant by 5.11 climber was that there is not a single 5.11 in the country that could stymie him.  Nevertheless I am careful and cautious.  As a precaution I jump on a 5.10 for the first climb – a grade I know I will not fall on.  As I climb I watch Kevin and his grigri.  All is well.  This means it is time to see how I can perform on harder grades.  

After Kevin walks up the 5.10 he points out a 12a just to the left. I jump on and onsight, but not without some effort.  Kevin (the supposed 5.11 climber) onsights as well and we decide to dart to the classic line Heinous Cling.  It seemed to be the perfect option due to the fact of there being a first anchor that checks in at 12a and an extension going at 12c.  The full line is 35 meters of vertical to slightly overhanging perfection.  I am psyched.  

Drew reaching the jug on Heinous Cling Start

30 minutes or so later I come down with my heart racing from the 20+ foot run out to the chains.  However, I am ecstatic and beaming from ear to ear because I have just onsighted one of the best lines I have ever climbed.  Surprisingly, the 12c did not feel hard, giving me confidence to head for the bigger leagues.  Immediately to the left of Heinous Cling is the aptly named line Darkness at Noon (it sees shade from noon onward), a 5 star 13a.  Darkness is on the same wall as Heinous sharing similar features as well angle and style.  Perfect.  I have never onsighted 13a, but if there were ever a 13a that I could onsight, this would be the one.  


Enduring the cold on Darkness at Noon

Unfortunately, the onsight go yields nothing more than numb hands and a mild version of the screaming barfies.  As Kevin lowers me from the chains I stop at various spots, running through sequences to make sure they are dialed.  The sequences are intricate and delicate, but I am confident Darkness will go down second go.  By the time I get to the ground it is 4:30 and the sun is saying its cordial goodbyes – we decide to call it a day.

The next day comes around.  The night was cold and the day has betrayed us with even more cold.  Despite climbing in the sun, it is still only 23 degrees.  After warming up on a few climbs I am ready to get back on Darkness.  This time I make it through the low crux before entirely numbing out, but the ensuing crimps successfully finish off the job.  I scratch my way through the next 5.11 moves, reaching the perfect rest where I can surely resuscitate my hands.  After resting here for about 15 minutes the numbness has merely receded to an annoying sting – I must press on regardless.  I look up and realize I have a good 20 meters of climbing left.  Can I keep the numbness at bay for that long?  I cannot be too sure.  

Leaving the rest on Darkness

At about 30 meters I find myself magically still on the wall pulling the last crux move.  It goes with ease.  This is it.  I take the next few moves slow, locking them off and using every free moment to warm my hands on the back of my neck.  A couple more moves then I’ll have it in the bag.  Consciously taking deep breaths I tell myself, “just stay calm” as my foot slips.  I’m off the wall and pissed.  Somehow I contain myself, saying something to the effect of “bummer.”  Okay.  I didn’t send second go, but surely third go will be no problem.  I have the beta dialed and the moves are easy, there is no chance of getting spit off again.  As you would guess, third go I valiantly fight the cold, only to have the numbness win the battle.  Sadly, I do not contain myself this time.  Mid air I am already throwing a massive wobbler that leaves me utterly embarrassed.  

I know I can climb this line casually, but cannot currently defeat the cold.  I am obviously upset so Kevin lowers me to the ground where I sulk for a moment. Shortly thereafter, I decide to accept that I will not send this climb on this trip.  But. In all reality, what am I so upset about? A piece of rock that chose to live in a cold place?  Wow.  Big deal.  I remind myself how insignificant climbing is in the grand scheme and even if climbing somehow was so important as to be the hinge upon which we exist, I know on a warmer day I can climb this line casually.  This puts me at ease.  

Kevin on a classic 11b

Kevin making it look easy

Meanwhile the day is quickly coming to an end and before I know it we are packing up.  I take one last glance at Smith, in particular at To Bolt realizing that even though I did not climb well on the bigger leagues, one day I will be back for the big leagues.  To Bolt might not be on the ticklist the next trip, or even the following trip after that, but I know that eventually we will tango and I plan on wearing my finest shoes.  Bye for now Smith Rocks – I will be back. 






Chasing the Chipmunk

I took some shots of Melissa on (what is, in my opinion) the king line of Rifle - The Eighth Day 13a.  It is quite the undertaking to get on this route.  It towers 45 meters above the canyon floor and follows a rad gray streak to the top of the wall.  The crux is somewhere around 25-30 meters from the ground, so to simply get there requires some patience.  

Dexter is a dog.  Like most dogs, he spends the majority of his day focused on something in the distance with ears perked.  Silent and still as Dexter was, the chipmunk must have missed his presence.  One would assume Dexter would not miss the opportunity, seeing how long he has been waiting.  However, that's exactly what he did.  Dexter simply cannot run as fast as a chipmunk can find and climb a tree.  If only Dexter was aware of this, he might not spend the day in vain trying to catch them.  

The chipmunk on the other hand seems more alert to his limitations and without a doubt will not leave the tree if he notices Dexter.  Occasionally, the chipmunk slowly descended from its palace to only turn back around in haste.  I'm entertained.  

The cunning of the chipmunk versus the repetitive stupidity of the dog.  I can see myself in Dexter.  "From the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat..."  To know thy limitations.  It turns out that even in a perfect state we have limitations and this still rings true in our fallen state.  But, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks.  So.  We spend countless days chasing the chipmunk.


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The Call of the Wild

Check out the Rearview Mirror page as well.  I updated it with new and old photos that are current favorites

Starting the run-out 5.11 section of the top of "Beer Run," a 13a I did earlier this summer. Photo by Brendan Leader.  Check out his instagram for more rad photos.

This is a common site in Colorado.

Brendan Leader on the Path 13c

Wrapping up the crux sequence on Beer Run.  Photo by Brendan Leader

Leor (I think that's how you spell it) on Beer Run as well.  Photo by Brendan Leader.

We are driving from Rifle Mountain Park to Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  We know Sleepy Cat Peak lies to the north and Capitol Peak to the south, yet neither one is visible.  They sit in the blind distance like a mother watching her cubs.  Her cubs, of course, are the hills in the foreground and it is the hills that occupy my attention.  The hillside to the south contains near vertical waves on its side that seem to belong in the ocean.  I have read that hillsides are often formed due to erosion.  However, these hills are clearly formed from the wear of wind.  I doubt the wind minds that it has forever changed the existence of these hills.  Nature is brutal like that.

I just re-read "The Call of the Wild."  Jack London believes that nature (or Nature) calls and if one is wise enough, he or she answers the call.  Buck runs into the wild and his coat has never shone brighter.  The call is intangible, inaudible and inescapable.  Nature has no regrets when the dye of Buck's existence is forever changed.  The call is as much from without as it is from within.  We crave to be ourselves.  The fool ignores - meanwhile his or her coat becomes as dull as watching a midday movie.  

The call London describes is a dragging force that brings Buck to his senses.  But.  London is wrong.  The call does not drag us, instead it beckons us to drive our lives.  Because if we so desire, we can be as rigid as the hillsides.  Shaped over time, yes, but toward what goal?  So, then.  What is it that beckons you to drive?  What is the impetus that is causing your life to move forward and are you listening to it? 


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I have not taken many pictures thus far in Colorado.  Below is one new photo and a goulash of old photos.  See if you can tell which is actually new.  Also, trying a new way of updating this website.  More blog(ish) style.  Disclaimer: I was under a time crunch for the writing, so please excuse the fact that there is no point to it.

IMG_6639 (1)_ (2)__adjust.jpg

We are in Rifle.  On this particular morning the songbirds are spreading a story.  I wish I understood the content.  Up to this point in my life I was under the impression there was only one type of songbird - I was wrong.  Apparently Rifle alone contains 6 different songbirds - the Cordilleran Flycatcher, Swainson's Thrush, Gray Catbird, Common Yellowthroat, Virginia Rail, and the American Dipper.  I'm told that each tells their own story, but as of yet I have not been able to distinguish a difference.  However, the birds are not alone here.  We have also regularly spotted marmots, mule deer and various trout.  In 2013 there was an 18-inch brown trout living under a commonly passed bridge, known as Walter.  As of 2015 Walter is nowhere to be found.  Perhaps a fly-fisherman caught his prize brown trout.  

There is also a campfire story of two moose having passed through Rifle Mountain Park some years ago.  Clearly this is not a natural habitat for these diminishing beauties.  They must have wandered from higher elevations.  

Anyways.  The flies are slower here than Maple Canyon.  My guess is they are not normal house-flies (seeing as they bite), but are not completely horse-flies either.  Whatever the case may be I am confident that I hold the world record of most killed flies.  I only require a witness and I imagine you will see me in the next Guinness Book of World Records.



A Still Movement

The babbling brook seemed persistent on our awareness of its existence.  Hearing her for some hours, it was time for a closer look.  Chris being the more savvy, he aptly noticed the hatch of dragonflies and the submerged nymphs.  Alive and well, yet lazy and motionless.  Both were simultaneously swept with an apathy that amazed me – what a careless bunch.  The brook flowed fervently toward the valley and the bugs provided no resistance.  There is a movement in their stillness.

Maple Canyon, Utah.  The land of cobble cliffs loosely held by sandstone matrix – the cement, as it were, of these rock walls.  We’re told the neighboring canyons harbor bears, mountain lions, bobcats and deer.  Maple merely harbors the ever-active housefly.  Thousands of them, brought, I’m sure, by the thousands of campers.  One per camper, except the campers leave and the flies stay. 

So.  Here we stand at bank of the babbling brook, focused on the new hatch. Behind, the sun sneaks away. The heavens are plastered with the usual array of amazing colors we are so accustomed to.  I cannot pinpoint the brush, can you?  9:30 P.M. – it’s finally near dark. 

 Laying down I feel as restless as a hummingbird’s wings.  Why am I privileged to be dormant while the world is so active?  I hear the brook moving.  The wind blowing.  The storm rolling in.  Everything continues… except for me.   The hatch of apathetic dragonflies and the submerged nymphs are playing on repeat in my head.  The mystery of their satisfaction – I am dumbfounded.  I see the brook taking me and now I realize – there is a movement in my stillness.



The Crooked River

The day is too luminous for the dark activity sought by the bald eagle – still he lingers high above.  Looms.  Occasionally the ominous, stark shadow sneaks by, brought with a chill and goose bumps.  The bull trout and the foothill yellow-legged frog alike skitter-scatter rapidly in some ridiculous form of rambunctious helter-skelter.  Meanwhile the eagle aptly attempts to maintain a surreptitious reality – well aware, it seems, of the disapproval found below.  Could nature really be so savage?  What cruel puppeteer decided for the drama to unfold this way?


The eagle dove.  Pause.  A seasoned sniper can momentarily stop his heartbeat, so as to maintain accuracy at long distances.  But. What about a seasoned eagle?  Resume.  The fish is caught.  The end of one ensures the continuance of another.  Life is essentially transferred. 


Not a bystander is disturbed – distracted.  Nothing is deterred from their day-to-day.   The Crooked River stays flowing.  The remaining fish persist in the grind.  Even a western red-backed salamander slyly slipped out from his cover – apparently assuming the timing was appropriate. 


Anyways.  To the heavens.  The raging raptor ascended from the water victorious, much like the risen Jesus – good luck explaining the theory of gravity.  Could walls stop this bird?  I was never given the privilege of finding out.  So.  I am left wondering.  Do you know?


Still no flinch.  The most minute of living creatures continue as though to be unaltered in their existence.  Does nature readily accept such brutality?