I am a big fan of Ansel Adams. Of all his images, this has always been one of my favorites. This time next week I will be somewhere up in those mountains. I can hardly believe it. As I have looked at photographs in preparation I have found myself in tears, imagining what it will be like to finally see them for the first time.
Last week I talked to you about gear I am taking to care for my body in the Grand Teton Ultra. This week, I acquaint you with those friends I am taking along to care for my soul. Unconventional to be sure. Of all the ultra sites I visited, nobody told me which prayers, poems, and music would travel with them mile after mile.
But I know myself.
I chose this event because it is BEAUTIFUL. And I will need words, as much as I need water and food. God will give me words of my own. This I know. But there will be times when I need to borrow the words of another. For a space. So I am filling my phone with prayers and poems and my ipod shuffle with music.
Here is a sampling of the voices who will be in my head as I run…
Praying by Mary Oliver
O Land Alive With Miracles by Thomas Merton
Point Vierge by Thomas Merton
The Summer Morning by Mary Oliver
Wild Geese by Wendell Berry
O Lord, how lovely it is to be your guest:
Breeze full of scent; mountains reaching to the skies;
Waters like a boundless mirror,
Reflecting the sun’s golden rays and the scudding clouds.
All nature murmurs mysteriously, breathing depths of tenderness,
Birds and beasts bear the imprint of your love,
Blessed are you, mother earth, in your fleeting loveliness,
Which wakens our yearning for happiness that will last for ever
In the land where, amid beauty that grows not old,
Rings out the cry: Alleluia!
You brought me into this life as into an enchanted paradise. We have seen the sky, like a deep blue cup ringing with birds in the azure heights. We have listened to the soothing murmur of the forest and the sweet-sounding music of the waters. We have tasted fragrant fruit of fine flavour and sweet-scented honey. How pleasant is our stay with you on earth: it is a joy to be your guest.
~excerpted from the Akathist in Praise of Creation. I am taking the whole of it with me on the trip. I want to read it in the gorgeous places where we will find ourselves. I will only bring excerpts on the trail.
*Portions of Psalm 104 and Psalm 148.
Andrew Peterson Audrey Assad Beethoven Bela Fleck The Brilliance Cara Dillon Carl Orff (Carmina Burana) The Civil Wars David Teems Delirious The Doobie Brothers Eddie Vader Eric Clapton Gateway Worship Gungor Herbie Hancock Iron and Wine James Taylor Javier Navarrete Joe Cocker Kaki King Lion King Broadway Cast Loreena McKennitt Michael Buble’ Mutefish NeedToBreathe Nickel Creek Norah Jones Nuns of St Paisos Monastery Old Crow Medicine Show Patti Griffin Ray Charles/Count Basie Rachmaninoff Russian State Symphony Capella Soggy Bottom Boys St. Petersburg Chamber Choir Sufjan Stevens Vivaldi Yo Yo Ma
P.S. My travel reading list (for the trip, not the run. :)):