Create & Integrate
Archive for July, 2011
Saturday, July 23rd, 2011
The crisp desert air assaults my nostrils and eyes like a blast of air from a freezer the moment I peek my face out of my cozy, down sleeping bag. Frost crinkles on the orange synthetic surface of the bag, crackling and flaking off as I unzip and emerge. Just yesterday afternoon I wore a sundress as I made ham sandwiches in the parking lot of one of Mammoth’s sweet, little coffee shops; this morning the half-shaven hair on my scraped up, black and blue legs stands on goose bump ends and I shiver walking the short 50 feet to the hot tub.
Sinking into the 103-degree water, the cuts on my hands and ankles tingle painfully and I shiver again as my body adjusts to the heat. Five minutes later I watch the sun drift above the horizon through the steamy mist of the tub; it briefly washes out all the colors of the desert landscape, leaving it blurry like an erased pencil drawing. I feel like the landscape looks. Drained of energy from climbing, and hazy in spirit, wondering where I am going and what I am doing with my life. It’s coming together slowly, maybe… concrete answers seem so elusive. I laugh out loud. Mostly these days I think about climbing, food, boys… in that order. Then, fourth, chocolate, and finally, what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.
I’ve finally emerged from the vortex of the Valley. Now I tell myself, “Lizzy, you need to come up with a plan.” But do I really? Well, yes, I have a mortgage to pay, cats to feed, a garden to tend. Can I find success as a freelance writer? I’ve determined that the cubical life is definitely not for me. I’m really enjoying writing blog entries. “Time to get serious,” I tell myself, as I settle into a comfortable seated position, hands on my knees, back gently pressed against the concrete wall of the tub.
Watching the water ripple in front of me I focus on my breath, in and out. “Thinking,” I tell myself as my thoughts wander like a bunch of kids just out for recess. A breeze blowing steam across the water’s surface distracts me. “It’s like fast moving clouds,” I think, and then remind myself, “thinking…” My Buddhist teacher tells me if I say that word as thoughts arise that I’m reminding myself to not focus on those thoughts. “Thinking,” I tell myself again. My mind then quickly wanders from the crazy climbing scene in Yosemite to where I’m going next: the Happy Boulders, Red Rocks, Indian Creek… “Thinking…” I say to myself. Fifteen minutes later I’ve repeated, “thinking” a few dozen times and I have completely forgotten about my breath. “Have I succeeded in meditating at all?”
Smiling broadly to myself, to no one, I lean my head back against the cement, let my arms float aimlessly, and then stare straight up into the already cerulean sky. I think: “Yeah! We’re leaving for Red Rocks today. Maybe Toby (my British travel/climbing parnter) and I can climb Epinephrine first, then Cloud Tower and Levitation 29… Are we bouldering today in Bishop? Should we have omelets for breakfast? We have chocolate-chip muffins…”
Friday, July 22nd, 2011
From the time I headed south on US-93 Alt from Wendover, heading nearly 300 miles to Tonopah, I turned right once and only six vehicles passed me. Though I had been on the road for 10 days, I felt alone for the first time.
I drove toward the sunset, the road extending dead straight ahead, a black line slapped rudely down on the gentle sagebrush and endless desert. Sunshine stole through clouds that hung low and navy blue in the sky, and the landscape shifted from light greens to olives as the sun came and went. I stopped once to check out a rattler that someone ran over. It lay twisted like a broken rubber band.
Two hundred miles later the sky had turned absolute black, and stars only occasionally peeked through the heavy clouds. Scattered rain showers slammed my windshield, and my bright headlights illuminated large drops that looked like thousands of falling stars. I drove 80mph until flashing by a sign that said, “Next gas 96 miles.”
I glanced at my gas gauge: less than a quarter a tank. I cursed, asking myself: “Should I turn back? Where was the last gas station I saw? No, too expensive, $3.25 per gallon!” Onward.
“Oh gawd!” I cried as a jackrabbit shot out in front of me. I swerved, barely missing it, barely missing the gravelly side of the road. My breath stuck in my throat like too much chewed up white bread, and it took 15 minutes for both my sweating palms to release their death grip on the steering wheel.
Twenty miles later I drove up to a small summit (6327 feet, it said), and the gauge dipped to an eighth of a tank. Was I feeling more alone now? I hadn’t wanted to leave home after losing my job, but I knew I would feel stuck, miserable had I stayed in Lyons without a purpose. My instincts told me to go on a road trip. Go climbing, have fun, meet new people, visit family and friends, and find some clarity in movement. I’ve been accused of running away before, but for me travel is the ultimate way to discover the stark reality of my mind, especially during times like these—running out of gas in the middle of nowhere in the desert of Nevada.
I turned off one of the three tapes I had made the night before I left on my trip. Jack Johnson and Nickel Creek were wearing on me. Flipping on the radio for comfort, I pushed seek, but got nothing, not even a Jesus station. I drove in silence for just a few minutes before hitting the AM button… conservative talk radio, Spanish talk radio, sport, sports, sports… I shut the radio off again.
Another 30 miles later, I passed by a man in dark jeans and a hooded sweatshirt. He looked up, and his face shone in my brights as I whizzed by (now going 55mph). Where the hell was he going? I’d seen one house a few hours ago, a couple army camps that seemed deserted, and a dazzling, flashing light that blared like a loud radio in the blackness of the night. My gas gauge fell dangerously close to the E mark.
Thirty miles from Tonopah, the red warning light started to go on and off as I drove up and then down mountain passes. I coasted downhill. I checked my cell phone. A small picture of a receiver flashed, a red line ripping through it. Nothing. Could I get 911 at least?
Twenty miles to Tonopah. Ten miles. Five miles. Please make it, I didn’t want to camp by the side of the road, trapped. I looked for side roads and pull offs where I could tuck myself away and hide, though I hadn’t seen a car or truck for at least an hour. What was I scared of? Someone knocking on my window in the middle of the night…
Two miles, one… I’ve made it. Laughing to myself, I pulled into the first station I found and saw the price of gas in Tonopah: $3.17 per gallon. So much for saving money.
Thursday, July 14th, 2011
Solera Says Profile: Rudy Gonzales
Rudolph “Rudy” Gonzales speaks quickly, his monologue punctuated with bursts of emphatic crescendos. There’s a lot to talk about. He runs Servicios de La Raza, what he calls “Denver’s busiest and most prominent human services non-profit organization.” With a half-dozen major programs… Read more on the Solera Says website by clicking here.
Español: (Thanks to Maya Bassford for translating)
Solera Dice Reseña: Rudy Gonzales, Director Ejecutivo de Servicios de La Raza
Rudolph “Rudy” Gonzalez habla rápidamente. Tenemos que conversar sobre muchos temas. Gonzales dirije Servicios de La Raza, lo cual él describe como “La organización sin fines lucrativos más prominente de Servicios Humanos en Denver. Con media docena de programas, él siempre se encuentre ocupado. Leer más en el blog de Solera Says haciendo clic aquí.
Lizzy Scully to speak at DU Law School about experience forming the non-profit Girls Education International
Saturday, July 9th, 2011
Thursday, July 7th, 2011
For immediate release
July 7, 2011
Denver, CO. Solera National Bank launches new social media program
Under the guidance of online PR firm MergeThis Media, Solera National Bank launched various social media sites today in conjunction with the introduction of a new e-newsletter, Solera News. The new social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, a LinkedIn Small Business Resource Group, and the Solera Says news blog.
Solera National Bank strives to offer its constituents the best possible customer service, and so will use these tools to engage and assist customers who prefer to get advice or information on social media sites.
The sites, specifically the Solera Says News Blog, will be also used to share information about events or organizations supported by Solera as well as promote partner organizations. Solera National Bank currently supports more than 70 organizations by donating funds, volunteering, serving on boards or other things. This month’s blog article features Rudy Gonzales and the organization that he heads, Servicios de La Raza, a prominent human resources organization in Denver.
For more information, please contact Lizzy Scully at 303-903-2768.