Something amazing is happening right now in Iran, and you need to pay attention. Chances are pretty good that part of your world view is cock-eyed, askew, and kerfunckled (Yes, "kerfunckled" is so a word. It means exactly what you think it means.)
What do you think would happen if you bought a one way ticket to Iran, and just showed up? Do you think they would put you in jail? Do you think they would deport you? Do you think they might lock you in a little room and in-terror-gate you? Well, you are wrong. Here is what happened in 2012 when the Yomadic did just that:
"... the friendly Iranian officials at Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran asked me a few questions, typical of any airport anywhere, they efficiently processed my application, stamped my passport with an Iranian visa-on-arrival, welcomed me to their country, smiled, and let me in. I walked out of the airport, leaving behind one of my many preconceptions about Iran."
It seems that the reality of Iran is a little different than the whole "axis of evil" thing we have been led to believe in. Click on that picture of the fake KFC at the top of the page. Read the article. The Yomadic has gone back to Iran again, and you can follow his adventures via Twitter and Instagram. Pay attention, and let your world view get blown out of the water.
I have an friend who is married to an Iranian national. I don't know him very well. Usually, when we are together, we just sit and watch the kids play. When we talk about Iran, we don't talk about war. We don't talk about oil. We don't talk about politics. We don't talk about religion. We aren't avoiding the subjects, they just never come up. He is too busy talking about the architecture, and the restaurants, and the public art and his friends, and the parties. He is not from the Iran that lives in your brain.
Oh wait... One more thing before I turn you loose. What do you think would happen if you were an Iranian and you bought a one way ticket to the United States? What do you think would happen to you when you showed up here?
Gather round kiddies. I'm gonna tell ya a story. Once upon a time there were two men. These men did something wonderful.
Are doing, actually. Right now. As you read these words.
Magic is happening in Yosemite Valley. I say magic because what these two men are doing?
It is impossible.
They are attempting to free climb the Dawn Wall.
Somehow. Someway. Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson are figuring out a way to do the impossible. In this very moment, they are as alive as any two humans have ever been. They are living on the very edge of human possibility and potential.
They are burning.
They aren't torches, or bonfires, or headlamps. They are volcanoes, and they are erupting in front of our eyes.
And it is glorious.
I am an above average climbing fan with below average talent. I spend my summers with my two boys "playing" on the rocks and in the trees of Northern Arizona. I have climbed my whole life. Anything and everything I could find. Trees, balconies, the underside of stairways. I built my boys a climbing wall in the back yard. We play on it 300+ days a year. Climbing is inside, outside and all around me...
...and I can't even begin to imagine what Tommy and Kevin are going through right now.
I don't know know how to describe this adventure with words. I can't find anything to compare it with. It's harder than Everest. It's harder than racing the Tour de France. People climb Everest and race the Tour every year. Sure, it is a challenge. Sure, it is beyond my capabilities. But what is happening on the Dawn Wall right now is not only the stuff of legends, it is the stuff of the imagination. Caldwell and Jorgeson are doing something that no one has ever done before, and they are doing it 1500 feet above the ground.
You can do like me and live vicariously through them by following along via their social media accounts. They have mini solar chargers and surprisingly good cell phone service up there!
I discovered music in 1982. I was ten years old, and "Hey Joe" by Jimi Hendrix came on the stereo.
It stopped me in my tracks.
I walked over and sat down on the floor right in front of the speakers. I was in love. The song was courtesy of my dad's reel to reel player. Years before, he had recorded a "top 100 rock-n-roll songs" type of show while he was in the military. There was no radio station to speak of in the little town I grew up in, and my parent's music collection, and the music I heard in church, were the only music I ever heard. Usually, my parents would play things like Ann Murray, or the Carpenters.
He was unlike anything I had ever experienced (pun intended). He was vital. Alive. Dripping with emotion.
Copyright Burn Flicker Die 2021
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