Silence

Because sometimes the mind won’t stop writing…

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“Silence your mind
Silence your fear
Silence it all
Then you will hear

The birth of creation
The dusk of today
The light of tomorrow
All gathered to play

Demolish the cities
Crowned high in unrest
They topple and fall
Giving life to our best

What’s more to the core
Of you and of me
We’re tethered together
Impossible to flee

Look down to your feet
Sinking into the Earth
The bones of this body
Reflect not your worth

For all I can see
For all that I know
I watch from within
My love only does grow

Real beauty resides
In the shimmer and gleam
That the heart shouts to each
While bursting it’s seams

No prison or cage
No city or house
No country or state
Will be able to rate

My love for you all
Every person to flea
Unconditional at worse
Will it ever be

Wake up to me now
From yourself rise within
Take hold of our reins
And we’ll soar to new planes

You have the power
The power is me
Just open your eyes
And together we’re free”

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Darling Sweet Darling

Darling, sweet darling

Dare you undress

Laying there naked

While I caress

 

The soul of your body

The soul of your being

The soul of our love

While both hearts are beating.

 

Darling, sweet darling

I want you stripped down

To the core of what makes this great world spin round

You in I

And I in you

Forever together like two pieces do.

 

Darling, sweet darling

Oh don’t close your eyes

This is the part with no surprise

With hands interlocked

Searching for more

To the shore of existence

The shore of before.

 

Darling, sweet darling

Laying there stripped

Of the eyes of tomorrow

While showered with bliss

Turn over your body

Your mind I will kiss

It’s the essence of you that I’m going to  miss.

 

Darling, sweet darling

Our memories are gold

It’s your mind not your body that I longed to hold

Laced in a time

Where your skin played the part

I refuse to compete with the mimes of your heart.

 

Darling, sweet darling

It’s love that I need

The love that the forests of yesteryear bleed

Where thirst is quenched by rivers with ease

And hunger quieted by the rustling of leaves.

 

Darling, sweet darling

Oh why can’t they see

That their valleys are shackled with man made debris

The cities ignite with a rush of great fire

No wonder they’re all so bleak and so dire

My mountains our mountains they sing and they preach

To heavens and galaxies far beyond reach.

 

Darling, sweet darling

I want you exposed

The flesh is as worthless as all of your clothes

With eyes full of longing

With eyes full of hope

Tomorrow perhaps will be just a joke.

 

Darling, sweet darling

Time brings anew

Moments of clarity sparkling with dew

Refreshed from our history

Refreshed from your past

Maybe just maybe these moments will last

The cage has been lifted

The sky turns to clear

I wonder how long it’ll take you to hear.

Standing In A Masterpiece

“They drove, on washboard roads, wearing the finest sweatstained hiking clothes two weeks in the backcountry could fashion. The duo sat, side by side, each donning a smile that would out shine even the brightest of stars. They continued down a seemingly endless dirt road and each knew they were holding tickets to the real  happiest place on earth. The price of admission? A tank of gas and the desire to experience life to its fullest. The memories they were creating would be rooted deep in their core for the rest of days. Between each awkward bump, temporarily making them airborne, bursts of laughter could be heard in the distance. Onwards they drove. His foot on the gas and her hands clutching her chest for support. The setting sun was unlike any she had seen and she seared the vibrant canvas of the sky into her memory. Like a fine wine, nature was painting them a rich and bold sunset that only seemed to get better with time. Pinks, reds, yellows and blues came in ribbons overhead and the further they drove the more they unwrapped. As far as they could see, from the silhouetted mountains of the West to the contoured canyons of the East, the vibrant nature of the evening cloaked everything underneath in an almost surreal disbelief. The pastel pallet of Dusk was thrown to the wind. For this evening was about dramatic effect and nature seemed to be on a trip that would make even a sober person second guess their eyes. The hues of the evening eventually stopped them in their tracks as the trusty green Ranger skidded to a stop. They both stepped onto the gravel road. Dust circled them as if gingerly hugging their sandblasted bodies in appreciation. They stood in the middle of a masterpiece, each transfixed by the beauty of the dying day. Nothing could dampen the energy surging through the landscape. These are the moments we live for with the people we love…when words fall short, emotions run high, and the only sound was the rhythmic joy of their beating hearts pounding the song of the night.”20150921_193142

9 Years…Strong

11056103_10204370902574170_7873115496043401010_o June 25th 2006. Nine years ago, I sustainable a life-altering deliberate elbow to the temple while playing in a water-polo tournament. I was 15. Little did I know how much that single event would change the course of my entire life. I wound up in a coma. I had to attend intensive rehab for cognitive, occupational, speech, and physical therapies. Among MANY things I lost my ability to read, memorize, and my cognitive functions tumbled drastically downhill. Those would become the least of my worries. Since this day 9 years ago I’ve been in pain 24/7. There has not been a single moment where I’ve been pain-free since the blow to my head. I’ve been to every specialist in the US and I’ve tried every drug to try and alleviate my symptoms from my Traumatic Brain Injury all to no avail. After about 3 years immediately following the injury I was tired of merely existing. I had 1 of 2 choices. I could commit suicide in hopes of getting away from pain, or I could battle every day to “fake it till you make it.” With unsuccessful attempts at my first option I began reclaiming my life in hopes of actually LIVING. It’s been the absolute hardest thing I’ve ever had to face. Every day is a struggle but the fight is more than worth it. Living with Traumatic Brain Injury is incredibly difficult. The invisibility of this injury makes it unique in the respect that its “survivors” appear normal on the outside. It’s both a blessing and a curse to look “normal.” Sometimes it would be 110% easier if my outsides reflected the battle that’s constantly raging internally. My injury forced me from a very early age to constantly adapt. Living moment by moment I live the life I am currently blessed with. The gift of planning is something most TBI-ers learn to live without. Our bodies dictate our current abilities and those change drastically day by day and hour by hour. I taught myself, with the tools given to me by UCLA’s Chronic Pediatric Pain Clinic, to appreciate the little things in life. To focus on the small beauties of this world because sometimes that’s all we have. Over the past 9 years I’ve gotten tremendously good at hiding my ailments in hopes of simulating a semi-normal life. Sometimes I cannot hide my symptoms and others look at me with the utmost concern. I spent the first 3 years after my injury 100% reliant on another individual. I needed help eating, bathing, walking, etc. When I first embraced the mentality of “fake it till you make it” I vowed to myself that as long as I was able, I would be self-reliant. Losing your independence is perhaps the worst thing to endure as a teenager. Once I was able to function independently I took it and ran. Many of my friends will speak of my absurd stubbornness, but there’s a reason for it. As much as I hate to admit, my entire life is ruled by my TBI. From seizures and double vision, vertigo and headaches that make you want to shoot yourself, from sharp stabbing pains throughout your body and getting sick at the drop of a hat I’ve learned to fully LIVE my life while I have the ability to. I never thought my life would be the beautiful adventure it is today, but I wouldn’t change a single thing. I’ve met some of the most incredible individuals and I truly value this precious gift we’ve been given. I try my absolute hardest to fully LIVE and be present in the moment. I appreciate the little gifts nature so freely spreads. I hope with all my heart to show others that they can accomplish their wildest dreams despite their disabilities or hiccups. The only constant is change and if these past 9 years have taught me anything it’s that love is the most important gift we all possess. Within ourselves lies the ability to change and focus on positivity. Sometimes it’s easier to see than others but hope and faith will carry you through the hardest of times. Live the life of your dreams, for nothing is ever guaranteed. The happiness of your life is directly related to the quality of your thoughts. Live with purpose and meaning… and don’t ever let ANYTHING hold you back from your dreams. I owe so much to the people in my life that have stayed by my side and help to make this crazy journey better than I ever could have imagined. I’ve accomplished more than I (or anyone else for that matter) ever thought was possible… and that’s a trend I’m going to uphold until the very end. Traumatic Brain Injury is a life-long battle. Raising awareness is key to helping others successfully maneuver their way through their new world. Stay positive and cherish every moment as if it were your last… and above all else don’t ever let others tell YOU what YOU ARE capable of. Defy the odds kids… it’s much more fun

Video Trip Report from S. Fork Camp Ground to Mt. Whitney

Folks, here’s the newest Video Trip Report with live footage of Sierra Mapping Project’s first trip from South Fork Campground to Mt. Whitney. As of today there is only 7 days left in the Kickstarter Campaign. This wholesome Non-Profit is badly needed. If the base goal of $2,500 is not reached than none of the pledged funds will be received.

Sierra Mapping Project benefits everyone. Free accurate mileages, elevation profiles, and water sources will be available to download for everyone. EVERY trail in the HIGH Sierra will be mapped and available to YOU free of charge. If you can spare a few dollars (roughly the price of a map) I highly encourage you to donate.

Please enjoy and share! PS- if you click directly on the Vimeo link the video quality is MUCH better!

Trip Report: South Fork Campground to Mt. Whitney

“From the very beginning I knew I’d be hiking into a weather system. I was supposed to leave for my starting point at South Fork Campground on Tuesday May 12th, but I ended up holding off  until Friday in hopes of bypassing some of the larger storm systems which were scheduled to hit the Sierra.

My Mom drove me the hour and a half to the beginning of Sierra Mapping Project’s first leg at South Fork Campground roughly 45 mins outside of Visalia, CA. Every pothole and bump in the dirt road was felt as her white Camry tried it’s best to avoid major divots. We arrived at a the same spot I’d rung in the New Year with. A fitting location to begin the first of many new trips.

My mom and I got out of the car, took a short walk down to the river, packed up the rest of my belongings and then said our goodbyes. Without hesitation my mother insisted one last time… “Are you sure there’s no one that can go with you? What about that girl hiking the Theodore Salomons Trail? I just wished you would be going with other people.” With difficulty I tried to refrain from telling her for the umpteenth time that most all of my miles have been logged solo. I would love to have others out with me, but it’s easier said than done. My mom and I embraced for one last hug before she took my photo and I began the first stretch of trail to be GPS’d for Sierra Mapping Project. “

Click on the link to read the full article!

http://www.sierramappingproject.org/blog/2015/5/29/south-fork-campground-mt-whitney-trip-report

Sierra Mapping Project on Kickstarter

A couple weeks ago I went public in my launch of Sierra Mapping Project. I immediately had many people express their excited interest for mapping every trail in California’s iconic High Sierra. Friends approached me with the idea to launch a Kickstarter for SMP.People realize the need for an accurate, but most importantly current inventory of our trail systems.

A couple days ago I launched the Sierra Mapping Project Kickstarter Campaign. In just a few short days, the community has backed over $650 out of the minimum goal of $2,500. The campaign will run for 40 days… of which we’re now down to 35.

I founded Sierra Mapping Project out of a dire need to have current and accurate information on the trails ALREADY in place in the Sierra Nevada. There were many instances when I would be going into the backcountry and the information I was receiving from our forest service was terrible at best. Now, this is through no fault of their own. Budget cuts, current funds running low, and a lack of personnel has made it near impossible for our beloved FS to do their job. Thus I began scheming my brain child… Sierra Mapping Project.

The main goal of SMP is to provide current conditions and an inventory of our cherished trail systems FOR FREE to the community. These are OUR trails and we should have access to this information. I will be GPS’ing EVERY trail in the High Sierra and creating a GPS track which will be available for download free of charge for YOU. In addition to a GPS track, you will have access to elevation profiles, water sources, and current conditions.

In recent years, our treasured Pacific Crest and John Muir Trails have received an overwhelming amount of traffic which can be detrimental to the trail system. With the sudden influx of day hikers, backpackers, and horse packers the infrastructure of these trails have been degrading rapidly. By GPS’ing EVERY trail in the High Sierra it is my hopes to relieve some of the congestion off the JMT/PCT and get people into other areas that our Sierra holds for us. By bringing a voice back to these networks were securing our trail systems and showing the government that we need to have these areas available/maintained for use. The more people that show an interest in our backcountry the bigger impact we can have of protecting OUR land for not only us but future generations as well.

The money raised from the Kickstarter Campaign will go towards GPS instruments, GIS software, non-profit fees, basic operational costs such as gas, batteries, gear repairs, etc. Sierra Mapping Project will be a non-profit and will be around for years to come, collecting current conditions as well as updating old information. This is THE SAME information that our Forest Service is supposed to be collecting, but since they’re unable to it’s time for the community to step up to the plate and preserve the wild land which we hold so dear. Remember, Sierra Mapping Project will be a tax-write off!

Another aspect of Sierra Mapping Project is to scout for new loops, routes, and thru-hiking alternatives. I am the biggest proponent of wild and adventurous exploration. Therefore, all routes will be minimally documented with the exception of a short summary to uphold the integrity of off-trail adventure and purity.

I am working in collaboration with Tom Harrison; California’s great cartographer who produces top-notch maps. I’m sharing my findings with him to make his information as accurate as possible for backcountry enthusiasts.

I leave tomorrow, May 12th, on the project’s first ~350 mile venture. I will begin at South Fork Campground, travel up through Mineral King, meet up with the High Sierra Trail and take that to the PCT at Bighorn Plateau, from there I’ll stay on the JMT/ Sierra High Route until I get to Devil’s Postpile where I’ll take our San Joaquin River Trail back to Clovis.

I’m jazzed to be able to share my findings with YOU! The Sierra’s are my backyard and I’m beyond thrilled to be sharing her beauty with the community. It’s going to be cold, snowy, and steep, but the mountains are calling me home.

Sierra Mapping Project is for the public by the public. Please share with everyone! The more people who know about this meaningful and worthwhile project the better. Anyone who visits the High Sierra will benefit from Sierra Mapping Project. Become a backer today!

A huge thanks to Sierra Mapping Project Sponsors – the dedicated folks who see the need for this venture: ULA, Western Mountaineering, Bedrock Sandals, Tom Harrison. Sierra Mapping Project is actively seeking sponsors… it’ll be a tax write-off!

Click: Kickstarter- Sierra Mapping Project

Sierra Mapping Project Video

Have a beautifully organic day,

Sara “BloodBank” Fry

Founder of Sierra Mapping Project