Erika Krull describes a stadium as a place that’s special. A stadium, of all things. I have fond memories of Folsom Field at CU Boulder, but those were times when the stadium was deserted at night with large flaky snow falling on our faces, not filled with cheering fans.
On Sunday, I went to one of my special places with Justin. It’s a bizarre outcropping of clay and sandstone, a few minutes away from my house, where you can find fish scale fossils since this was once part of the great inland ocean of some darned geological period or other.
My anxiety, which never leads to an out-and-out panic attack, is non-existent when I’m in a vehicle, but as soon as I step outside, I feel miserably afraid. As we walked from the road to the outcropping, I felt worse, but as soon as we rounded the corner away from the road, I felt wonderful. It was our first warm day of spring; I was outside but safe; and I was with Justin in one of my favorite places in the world.
In one section, higher than I’d ever climbed before, the clay was eroded into fairy castles which somehow still supported the sandstone above. We found fossils, although I couldn’t explain to him how I knew these fossils were once bones–it seems obvious to me, but not to him, perhaps because I’ve fossil-hunted throughout my life. The shiny fish scale fossils are more obvious to a novice fossil hunter.
It was a good, albeit brief sojourn into the outside, where I’m generally afraid to travel. At one point, I slipped on the scree and scratched myself fairly badly, but I liked being wounded. It wasn’t because I enjoy pain, but in part because it’s a reminder of the joy of being outside in a beautiful place.
I’ve decorated some of my walls with the kites I used to fly before I became this agoraphobic. I’ll never fly them again, but when I look at them I can remember the joy of lying in the grass looking up at a kite I controlled 50 or 100 feet above me.
I walk from a box (the house) to a box (the car) and drive to another box (work) then back again, with occasional diversions to other boxes (e.g. the grocery store).
I’m going back to the fossil site at least one more time before I die.