Sunday, 23 October 2011

Angry knees, rusted guns

"I don't care about the time I run. I can try all I want, but I doubt I'll ever be able to run the way I used to. I'm ready to accept that. It's not one of your happier realities, but that's what happens when you get older. Just as I have my own role to play, so does time. And time does it's job much more faithfully, much more accurately, than I ever do. Ever since time began (when was that, I wonder?), it's been moving ever forward without a moment's rest. And one of the privileges given to those who've avoided dying young is the blessed right to grow old. The honour of physical decline is waiting, and you have to get used to that reality." - Haruki Murakami - What I talk about when I talk about running

So things have been quiet here recently. I was supposed to have doozy of a trip report or two for you from the adventures I had planned during the recent 'half term/autumn break' that education professionals enjoy as part of their working environment. The march of time and a reminder of my slightly more risk-taking past came up and bit me on the ass and put paid to that. A hangover of this episode in my life ensured I spent most of my holiday on pain-killers, stretching, gobbling glucosamine and gently rehabilitating my buggered knees. The upper half of my body feels younger than my recent birthday would indicate while the lower half feels far more advanced. It's a feeling that I've dwelt on a lot this year, the realisation that my body has reached a tipping point. No more do I have dreams of what my body could be but now I have to work hard and be regimented in my desire to maintain any level of ability that it has ever attained.

"Old man, your guns are rusted, and you've forgotten how to fight..." - Planes Mistaken for Stars

Our little corner of blogdom has been full of piss and vinegar recently and I've found myself wanting in my ability to stand up and fight. Subjects such as the ethics, neutrality and transparency of gear reviews, 'hike-your-own-hike' vs the need for mindfulness and gear reviews vs trip reports have been divisive, battle lines have been drawn and good discussion has taken place. I've been following these subjects with interest but my input has been minimal. I receive a few pieces of free or discounted equipment and have recently felt awkward about any obligations I might feel toward these generous supporters and anything I would egotistically describe as my 'readership'. Can I continue to receive this level of support and remain objective? I'm painfully aware that gear reviews I wrote in the past still drive traffic to my blog but I stand by my decision to concentrate now on trip reports and maybe more holistic gear 'musings'. Anyway, other people with far more technical leanings, do gear reviews better and have access, either free or paid, to the latest and greatest equipment. No one wants to hear about gear that once I finally feel confident about passing judgement over has, or is due to be, updated and revised to a degree that nullifies my points of view.

Is it the Libra in me trying to balance the scales? Is it just an unachievable, hippie wish for everyone just to get along? Is it my fear of jumping down off the fence on one side of an argument or the other? Maybe it's just the change in seasons or a bleed through from the current state of flux, distrust and uncertainty that seems to be affecting the whole world. Maybe it's all just a figment of my own imagination stained by my own personal circumstances. I have hopes that the coming winter will cleanse my consciousness of all this negativity in the same way it cleanses the land of the previous seasons. The birth of Spring, the glut of Summer and the rotting Autumn, all frozen, silenced and then washed away. To frost, to visible breath, to fresh lines in the snow.

No comments: