Saturday, December 06, 2008

Inspiration

We all need inspiration. I find a lot of mine outdoors, from friends and family, but also in music and reading. If you're looking for some inspiration here's what I've been abusing my ear drums and eyes with:

Books:

Raw Shark Text: This is about the weirdest thing I've ever read, and one of the best. There's this idea that words can become alive, and eat us as "sharks." Brilliant stuff, I wish I were half as smart as the author.

Five Novels: Phillip K. Dick. This guy saw the world so very differently. I picked this lunker of a collection up in some airport on the way to Europe because it had the most words per Euro of anything on the rack, and it then took over my mind. Dick defined so many pre-cursors to things we take for granted today (cyber punk, the ascendance of the electronic over the physical, viruses, electronic propaganda, etc. etc.) up to 50 years ago. Cool read.

Music:

MGMT: Evil good pop.
Buck 65. So many good lines... 
Old Crystal Method: I was playing some of this in the office today after a good Nordic workout when my daughter wandered in and started grooving like a glam queen. Hard to argue with that, I was too.

The reason I'm thinking about inspiration is that I can sense it's time for winter climbing to change for me again. Ice climbing isn't going to look the same in 20 years as it does now; sometimes climbing evolution is incremental, other times a new idea comes along that completely shakes things up. Mixed climbing did that for me, and changed the sport around the world pretty dramatically. Standards on both ice and mixed have shot up massively in the last five years, and that's cool. I saw that yesterday while teaching a clinic; two guys I didn't really know came into Grotto and climbed brilliantly up the ice. Their technique was obviously refined well past the usual "X and grunt" method of ascending; nice body position, safe, fast. It would have been impossible to see that 20 years ago as that technique didn't exist. Now the question is, "What next?" I need a shot of Phillip K. Dick's futurecasting to find the path of most interesting resistance and drop into the groove of new possibilities.

Training: Did some more icicles of late, having a ton of fun just climbing ice with the odd mixed bit throw in, plus it's the start of the ski season. Nothing like pounding for an hour with a 30-pound kidlet on my back, killer workout and fun for both of us.

Give 'er.

WG

2 comments:

L said...

If you have not read already, cryptonomicon and snowcrash... One is looong, both are outstanding

Nick Adams said...

Will, Nick Adams here from Wisconsin. Met at your home 2 or 3 years ago with Erol and Raphael during the -30C blitz that weekend. Discussed real estate bust, preferred snoos (King from Norway/Sweden - ya goot!), etc.

If you haven't check out Philip K Dick's "Man in the High Castle", great book! And I 2nd Stephenson's Cryptonomicon that L suggested. Amazing!

Love your blog. Thanks for keeping the psyche up!!