I don’t even know where to start. I’m probably going to have to use my journal because I’m always at a loss of words when it comes to the grand tetons. I know that yellowstone is the prized possession of wyoming but holy crap, the grand tetons! I left the park with these feelings that I had never felt before.. similar to the happiness and peace that I felt on our wedding day but in a different way if that makes any sense.
we woke up to the sunrise glow reflecting off the mountains and I remember standing outside our tent in awe of what was directly in front of me and amazed at what mama earth’s natural alarm clock had just been. I kept thinking to myself, “please, please remember these feelings forever. you don’t have to leave, just sit here forever and feel” because with time, our memories fade and I was scared of losing this one. I thought if maybe I just sat there a little longer, the memory would also last a little longer. a small fraction has already faded but at least I wrote down what and how I was feeling in those exact moments so I could at least know. why does everything have to become a memory? why can’t we live them over and over; replicate the moments?
everything was a dream. we went swimming beneath the grand tetons, hiked backcountry trails with every view to ourselves (as always), we canoed in waters that resembled mirrors, we skinnydipped in lakes hidden by forests, read books in hammocks, and loved by day and loved by night. sitting in the canoe in jenny lake, I traced each mountain, each ledge with my memory in hopes of dreaming them that night. as I sat beneath the mountains watching the clouds transform the same scenery into new worlds, I imbibed every ray of light that shone through hoping that they would burn into my memory. if those days in the grand tetons did not epitomize happiness then maybe I don’t know what happiness is.
kidding. I do know what happiness is and it entails this.
andrew is way too modest about his night photography so this is me showing off my husband;)
…but when we got home, we found out about the deaths of alton sterling and philando castille. a journal entry a few days after wyoming:
how very different today was compared to these past few magical days in wyoming. today I found out about alton sterling and philando castille and out of all the police murders spurred by racism, these two deaths hit me the hardest. maybe because there was footage that was irrefutable? maybe because they were the tipping point? earlier, I cried and I cried for these men. my eyes were swollen and I didn’t understand why I was crying so hard… I didn’t know these men. but after really thinking about it, I knew. I was crying for the black community, crying for america, but also crying from guilt. I felt/feel guilty for all of the adventures we go on because right now, the black community is trying to figure out how to survive while I’m here trying to figure out which park we’re going to next. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty with the argument that we shouldn’t let the troubles of our world get us down but I think to not be affected, to not feel angry or not feel sad is ignorance at its finest.
yeah, these feelings are difficult and they don’t make me feel the greatest and yeah, technically, it’s not my ‘problem’ so I can continue to embark on a life of obtaining happiness.. but how could I live with myself? how could I go on with life knowing that I’m happy but others are trapped in despair?
I can’t because that’s not me. maybe others but not me.
I had been feeling these types of feelings for awhile but I always fought them off, justifying myself in some way or another but it is undeniable now. I made a slight career detour and am getting my masters in what is essentially humanitarian works – starting it at least.