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Dear Rainier

Updated: Aug 11

I’m sorting

Sorting my strong feelings for you

Even with never having laid eyes on you

Only hearing tales and seeing images from Luke

And well, he came back to you more than he ever did to me

And that leaves me resentful,

And intrigued


Intrigue seems to be dripping into obsession since he’s left this earth

You were the gateway drug

And I’m scared to get a taste of you

Because what if I become addicted too

What if you aren’t all that beautiful

And what if you are


Was the high of being in your light and shadows worth his life

I’ve never found something worth my life

But I think maybe I’m missing it

I feel that void

He was onto something

I just wasn’t seeing it

Hours of frustrating conversations

I wasn’t fully listening

I didn't know how

Until just before the end

And what I finally heard

Freed me, to let him love what he loved

Without expectation or judgment

But I also knew, and he knew,

Where this was going to end

I just didn't expect it to be so soon

And I wanted to swallow the acceptance I had just come to

As soon as I heard the news

If I hadn’t let him go would he still be here?


I wouldn't have spent so much of our time being mad at him for accepting death as a risk

If I’d had known how limited our time was

I would’ve said tell me more, teach me more, show me more

And leaned into him with curiosity instead of selfish longing


In a weeks’ time I’ll drive my beat up red Tacoma

With a photo of him tucked in the sun visor above the seat he rode in,

Into the forests that climb up your glaciated walls to a summit that could erupt and swallow me whole

He used to write my name up there,

In that summit log

I’ll bet that never mattered to you,

a cold indifferent mountain

But he would phone me to share that

With his suntanned face, messy blonde hair and sparkling green eyes

And I can hear my name and his laughter up there now


I have to return

It’s strange I just typed the word return

When in fact this will be my first time

But perhaps it’s his hand that wrote my name, or the love I felt for him that he felt for you

That makes this feel like a return



I’m coming to see you in a wounded body with a torn knee

The very vehicle I need functioning properly to walk up to you

Snapped on the morning of Luke's memorial service

Was he telling me to slow down

Or was it just bad timing?

Either way it feels unfair

And I well know, it’s my mindset that makes things unfair

But i'm still rewiring

And my rage and my running had sustained me thus far


Surgery will be just 8 days away from when I camp at your base

And I’m scared

Scared of my body, that’s already been pumped full of chemicals, starved, violated, cut open and rearranged, going under the knife again

Scared of not having support

But more so of needing it

Scared of the recovery process

And of letting go of my ego and all that I’ve clung to

But mostly I’m scared of all of this happening without him being here

Cognitively I know there will be life and regaining of strength and motion after surgery

But this feels like a final chance

Cognitively I know there is life after his death

But this feels like a final breath


My ego says:

I want to make it to the top

I want to make it to the top alone

So it to be just me and you up there

And we can have it out

And I can let go of all the anger and sadness and erupt onto you

I no longer want to be the one eroding away

I know you can handle it

A volcano unto yourself

You’ve seen more death, destruction, sunsets, and sunrises than I ever will


Will you humble me

Will you humiliate me

Will you empower me

Will you throw me into fight

Or flight


I need to accept that even after having traveled far I may not make it up to you,

Sitting so high in the sky

But when I’m at your gate

Is there anything you want to say to me?




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