Steve Casimiro crafted an article in the current issue of Adventure Journal. It’s called “The Last Footprints on the Moon”, I read it on the plane ride back to VT, and my brain has been cycling back to its words and thoughts all week long.
I love to ski. Perhaps you know this about me. I love the alpine air, I love the cold, I love the finesse, I love the speed, I love the strength, I love the company, and… I love those moments of solidity and impermanent permanence when you stop to look back up at your tracks after a soul-filling dance with gravity.
Steve Casimiro discusses these human moments in his article. His ultimate reflections are on the footprints that humans left on the moon, but ski tracks are his hook. Ski tracks are how he grabs his reader and pulls them right in.
He ponders this drive of ours to assert and acknowledge our existence in the ever-changing natural world, and specifically this “ongoing, underlying magnetic draw to lines you’ve sketched in the snow”.
But, c’mon. It’s just skiing. It’s just snow. It’s ephemeral. It will melt or it will be covered up by other skiers or the next big storm.
That physical pull to pause, to turn around, to look uphill, and to breathlessly marvel at what you’ve created? It’s totally a thing.
“It is an underlying and human desire to know that what we do matters, that we leave some mark of our passing, and that it was worthwhile, not just to us, but to others. That you can look at my tracks, and I at yours, and say, ‘Nice.'”
I’ve never had this feeling put into words as succinctly as I experienced in this article. While reading, I felt this instant familiarity, like the author was speaking just to me. He must be able to see inside my thoughts – how else would you explain my visceral response and recognition? How did he know that his targeted word choice defined something that I’d never known how to define before – or that I’d even needed it defined?
That’s what writing is all about: Connecting with something deep within you and giving it a form and the ability to transcend pages and imprint on the hearts and minds of readers across the world. Writing is some powerful shit, my friends.
Thank you, Steve Casimiro, for reigniting my love of language, for pulling my love of skiing back to the forefront of my mind, and for reminding me that humans have an endless capacity to connect.
“Sometimes we need confirmation we exist, I suppose, even if that confirmation only lasts until the next storm.”
I am here. You are here. I see you. We matter. Let’s go play.