Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Articles Written By AndrewLenec

Highway

March 20th, 2017

Last December, I arrived in Boulder on a wet and frosted night, the cold a stark contrast to the sedate warmth of Hawaiian winters that I was leaving. My arrival was a sigh, the slow release of pressure built up over several years of constant wandering, and the beginning of a spiritual and emotional convalescence that was a lifetime in the making. In fifteen months, the farthest I have been from this city is only a handful of hours by highway, a true reversal of my constant motion. I have been moored on dry ground, this landlocked state a haven from life’s fervently rocking seas. Boulder and... Read More

Horizon

March 13th, 2017

I can feel my bones hardening, a stolid ache of the marrow like monoliths being built under the skin. I have spilled more blood in the last five months than life ever taught me was even mine to spill. The flesh of my lip split into ribbons is the prettiest pink, I see, soft and newborn and a flower springing out amidst decay, as I stand in the mirror in true form, a landscape of gashes like canyon walls viewed by vultures. If the sun is not out to pull me from roots, then into the soil I sink. And my yawns are continents shifting, the groans of plates brushing shoulders and oiled by dust. There... Read More

Sprung

March 7th, 2017

Part of what first drew me to climbing was the opportunity for meditation, the necessity to focus on my movements and to remain absolutely present within myself, denying my mind its usual, incessant chatter. This has been key for me, and is probably my main motivation for going back to the rope again and again – yes, I love being in nature, and pushing the bounds of my own physicality, and even the rushes of adrenaline have grown on me. But when I really think about it, my greatest gratitude on the wall is everything that is not there with me. So alluring is this release that it is becoming difficult... Read More

Walk

February 28th, 2017

Though the sun shines unseasonably strong and its rays heat the air in days that are unrecognizable as November, nothing stands motionless as it would in the lethargy of summer, and a near-constant wind sweeps the city and kicks up dirt and is not powerful enough to really affect that which it touches, but instead scratches at every door, whimpers, as though nature itself were restless for change. For days I have been losing water, like a ship sinking in reverse; I float above the wonders concealed in blue, and amidst the rocking of life’s waves I tear at the planks beneath my feet, hoping to... Read More

March

February 21st, 2017

I can feel my bones hardening, a stolid ache of the marrow like monoliths being built under the skin. I have spilled more blood in the last five months than life ever taught me was even mine to spill. The flesh of my lip split into ribbons is the prettiest pink, I see, soft and newborn and a flower springing out amidst decay, as I stand in the mirror in true form, a landscape of gashes like canyon walls viewed by vultures. If the sun is not out to pull me from roots, then into the soil I sink. And my yawns are continents shifting, the groans of plates brushing shoulders and oiled by dust. There... Read More

Blear

February 13th, 2017

A somewhat serious back injury, then inflamed shoulders, aching joints, and now a weak wrist. In four weeks I have climbed as many times, and I am finding myself searching for excuses to not go back. It is easier at times to not climb, to keep in mind but the ghost of a passion, something unsullied and as near to perfect as it could be. Before getting hurt, movement was a love that held me dear as I held it, and I fear marring it with now-shaking hands. I dream as sweetly as any man could, and I know intimately the rousing touch of morning, a threshold concrete like that of sleep’s gentle thaw.  Read More

Weighted

February 6th, 2017

Ten feet above my last bolt, I look down and start trying to do calculations. Math that I, admittedly, am not great with, considering the fact that I have never really been able to visually judge distance very accurately. With that in mind, ten feet was probably far less than that. The theoretical and actual fall factors are differentiated by the amount of available rope in the system, and with stretch I’ll fall… how far? Twice the distance between my harness and the previous clip, plus…. The answer didn’t matter. The biggest issue was my apprehension, the fact that I could not find it... Read More

Slow

January 30th, 2017

Today marks one week that I have been laid up with injury. The days have crept by slowly, and the nights have felt interminable, hours seeping through the air like the languid flow of blood beneath my wounds. At its worst, my own pulse was a scream in the quiet dark. This fragility of body is something that I have not felt in quite some time – the last eighteen months have seen me at my peak. Having never been athletic before, at least not passionately so, since beginning to climb I have seen positive transformations in myself that I never thought I would witness. I have never felt so strong,... Read More

Fire

January 23rd, 2017

Part of what first drew me to climbing was the opportunity for meditation, the necessity to focus on my movements and to remain absolutely present within myself, denying my mind its usual, incessant chatter. This has been key for me, and is probably my main motivation for going back to the rope again and again – yes, I love being in nature, and pushing the bounds of my own physicality, and even the rushes of adrenaline have grown on me. But when I really think about it, my greatest gratitude on the wall is everything that is not there with me. So alluring is this release that it is becoming difficult... Read More

Thaw

January 16th, 2017

My fear of falling is surpassed in my life only by my fear of stagnation. For all of my adult life I have wandered, unable to take root in one place for too long, even when I have tried to do so. Perhaps my failure to synthesize permanence has been the expression of some latent, subconscious desire to avoid the imprisonments of circumstance. But regardless of any and all efforts, there have been portions of my years, bricks laid heavy as the seasons, during which I have found myself feeling immobilized behind the walls of time.   Winter hangs like a shroud over the days, even beneath the persistent... Read More

Freeze

January 11th, 2017

Climbing, honestly, is not the thing about which I am most passionate, but it is the thing by which I am most consumed. Another winter has crept silently in, freezing all ambition into things statuesque, objets d’art to be gazed at in wonder, the entirety of autumn one far away idea to be thawed in the spring. These months could easily be those of last year’s hibernation, or two years ago, or even, if God does exist and he is unkind, a glimpse into the future. With the first snowfall of the season I see myself as having come full circle, ready yet again for hibernation, the cold making me... Read More

Calmed

December 13th, 2016

I breathe deeply as I tie my knot, looping the rope the same way that I always do, dressing it carefully so that its layers lie comfortably amongst themselves, the lengths all perfect, the tension equal. I sit down to put on my shoes, left first, pulling the velcro taught and flexing my toes against the rubber, then the right, moving laterally in my ritual as if reading whatever it is my body has to say. It is the same each and every time and it is a process, one that I take slowly and with care not to rush. The moment I step off of the ground I am attempting to enter a unique space within myself,... Read More

Calm

November 22nd, 2016

I breathe deeply as I tie my knot, looping the rope the same way that I always do, dressing it carefully so that its layers lie comfortably amongst themselves, the lengths all perfect, the tension equal. I sit down to put on my shoes, left first, pulling the velcro taught and flexing my toes against the rubber, then the right, moving laterally in my ritual as if reading whatever it is my body has to say. It is the same each and every time and it is a process, one that I take slowly and with care not to rush. The moment I step off of the ground I am attempting to enter a unique space within myself,... Read More

Red

November 1st, 2016

Though the sun shines unseasonably strong and its rays heat the air in days that are unrecognizable as November, nothing stands motionless as it would in the lethargy of summer, and a near-constant wind sweeps the city and kicks up dirt and is not powerful enough to really affect that which it touches, but instead scratches at every door, whimpers, as though nature itself were restless for change. For days I have been losing water, like a ship sinking in reverse; I float above the wonders concealed in blue, and amidst the rocking of life’s waves I tear at the planks beneath my feet, hoping to... Read More

Float

October 25th, 2016

We crossed under the gate in the chain-link fence and onto the tarmac, which was dotted with small planes. The day was clear and filled with a low wind, and that spot on the earth was open and so clearly a point of ejection into everything surrounding it. The sky was blank and ended only with my sight. Ours was lone and well-worn, and he circled it with discernment and determined love, fatherly and shrewd. This was the vessel, after all, in which we would be reading the laws of nature and reinterpreting them for ourselves, flight as man’s elasticity clause. I don’t think he had ever even set... Read More

Granulation Tissue

October 18th, 2016

I can feel my bones hardening, a stolid ache of the marrow like monoliths being built under the skin. I have spilled more blood in the last five months than life ever taught me was even mine to spill. The flesh of my lip split into ribbons is the prettiest pink, I see, soft and newborn and a flower springing out amidst decay, as I stand in the mirror in true form, a landscape of gashes like canyon walls viewed by vultures. If the sun is not out to pull me from roots, then into the soil I sink. And my yawns are continents shifting, the groans of plates brushing shoulders and oiled by dust. There... Read More

Slow Sky Out West

October 11th, 2016

Autumn has finally arrived… or at least it has in theory. This December will mark my first full year in Colorado, and the rolling of the months upon themselves has revealed to me the strange complexities of the mountains’ seasons. I think of October in New York, and of the winds that blow as if the raw exhalations of some impending death, littering leaves like trash, of scarves and coffee and the pallid sky out of which the sun is chased by gray. And yet here in Boulder, summer seems to dip its toes into fall’s waters tentatively, withdrawing time and again with chill, and I sit shirtless... Read More

In Restless Walks

October 4th, 2016

He knew even before the key reached the lock that she was inside, some premonitory hum in the air, and though he was usually quick to dismiss such notions, her presence as a fact settled easily among the others and he felt no surprise. He probably knew as soon as he stepped off of the elevator, without knowing it, and she seeped beneath the door and filled the hallway, and his blood hummed with each step until he reached for the knob and knew somehow exactly what he would see when the hinges creaked and the slab of steel swung open and into the kitchen, the counter usually destitute but now covered... Read More

On the Death of a Stranger

September 27th, 2016

A girl I knew in high school posted childhood pictures of the two of them, without caption or commentary, and the grainy stills did not sit well with me. Her intention, it was unspokenly clear, was more than reminiscent. A cursory web search of his name returned first a years-old news story from the town in which we all grew up, detailing his arrest after having fallen through the ventilation system of the administrative building of a local housing development, his afterhours violation neither validated nor explained in its absurdity by the article. The image was so quintessentially Kyle – an... Read More

To My Dearest Boulder, Part II: We Need To Talk

September 13th, 2016

So far in my adult life, I have lived in some of the country’s most expensive places. In Manhattan, where I first went to school, I was on a fairly generous scholarship from the university I attended, and was thusly shielded from many of New York’s financial perils, but they were always in full view beyond my walls. In Honolulu, I broke my body waiting tables, and then eventually donned a tie for the State, moving papers from one side of my desk to the other, a white-shirted picket in the bureaucratic fence. I got by. And now I find myself in Boulder, a city that is certainly by no means cheap.... Read More

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