Best 136 of Aspen Matis quotes - MyQuotes

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Aspen Matis
By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I had feared this end, wondered where I would go from it, from the moment I first stepped on this footpath in the desert. But I found I was not afraid of reaching it now. I was happy. I hadn't found every answer for where I was going, but I now had all I needed to take these next steps. I knew I would do what I needed to become a writer now.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I was passive by nature. I had always been. Arguing felt unnatural and uncomfortable. I was always agreeing even when I didn’t really, instinctively looking for ways to forfeit power, to become more dependent, to be taken care of. I realized how intensely Icecap reminded me of Jacob. They were similar, both diligent and harsh in their judgments—and my big brother’s sureness had always comforted me. But as I ran on sore legs to keep up with Icecap, my tendency toward silence stressed me.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I was beginning to feel compassion for myself.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I made a conscious effort to name my needs and desires. To carefully listen to and accurately identify what I felt. Hunger, exhaustion, cold, lower-back ache, thirst. The ephemeral pangs: wistfulness and loneliness. Rest fixed most things. Sleep was my sweet reward. I treated bedtime as both incentive and sacrament.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Aspen Matis

Already, this little-walked gigantic trail through my country’s Western wilderness held in my mind the promise of escape from myself, the liberation only a huge transformation could grant me. This walk would be my salvation. It had to be.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Aspen Matis

Still I walked into the snow, moving to keep warm, burning precious energy searching for an answer I couldn’t think of. I didn’t turn back, compelled to continue without the trail. I didn’t want to risk futilely backtracking. If I couldn’t find the trail before dark, I could wake tomorrow disoriented and desperate, without having even made any new miles; my loss of the PCT should have distressed me, but a new instinct led me forward. In this moment of despair I was refusing to stop fighting. I asked the mountains for some guidance, the strength to get myself out of here, and pulled wild power from within myself I’d never known I’d had. I was no longer following a trail. I was learning to follow myself.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I wanted him to declare in shock how overlooked and underestimated I had been ever since I was a child. How lucky he felt to be the one to have discovered me, to have me. I wanted him to look at me like maybe I was magic.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Aspen Matis

And if I'd be left alone in the woods again, I smiled to think how I'd find new gifts and thrive. At the end of a long trail and the beginning of the rest of my life, I was committed to always loving myself. I would put myself in that win-win situation.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Aspen Matis

The harsh dimness that follows loss isn’t static, but charged with the energy of immanent change. Hurt, I was left with a choice: wallow and stay in the dark, or seek light and fight to reach it. These two paths emerged. I had this choice to make. Loss is the shocking catalyst of transformation. I saw that this mountain valley, haunted by senseless murders, darker, had absorbed unthinkable violence and turned it into mesmerizing light. My rape became my catalyst. Rape gave me cause to flee the muteness – forced me into making a bold and forceful change. I chose to fight to find a way to leave to seek my own strength and beauty. I was searching to find the way to make light.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I needed to begin respecting my own body’s boundaries. I had to draw clear lines. Ones that were sound in my mind and therefore impermeable, and would always, no matter where I walked, protect me. Moving forward, I wanted rules.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I flushed—this time not in shame—but in rage.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I saw now that bad men existed who would take advantage of any weakness and insecurity they found when violating a victim. I saw it was not my fault; I did not choose to be raped or kidnapped. But now I was learning how to protect myself from the predators, to trust my No and my instinct and my strength. I was learning I was not to blame, I couldn't prevent men from trying to hurt me, but I could definitely fight back. And sometimes fighting back worked.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I was able to pitch a tent and carry a backpack twenty-five miles a day through mountains—I’d mastered a thousand amazing physical feats—physically I’d become undeniably confident and capable—but physical weakness had never been the problem that I had. My true problem had been passivity, the lifelong-conditioned submission that became my nature.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

Each year, Gracie Henderson moons a thousand strangers, collects their shocked faces in an annual photo album.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Aspen Matis

Childhood is a wilderness.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

He understood. In lovesickness we had found a common language.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Aspen Matis

Mothers are programmed to teach the fit. They are unequipped to listen to pleas, to alter their patterns. Mothers know how to nurse and nurture those who they have hope for—they coo over babies with infections they can help heal, they give advice for things they know, they protect from the dangers they know how to fear. But once their baby becomes so hurt the mother doesn't know how to heal her, she neglects because she doesn't know better. The tricks she knows don't work, she fears, and, eventually, when she is so lost she feels hopeless, she abandons.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Aspen Matis

And the idea of light unexplainably produced out of nothing was haunting, it shook me. A flat drab mountain could produce its own light, no one in this whole world knows why, and if that was possible then of course there must be other things that seemed impossible that weren’t, and so anything—great and terrible—felt possible to me now.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I didn’t know if I was brave or reckless.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Aspen Matis

Water was liquid silver, water was gold. It was clarity—a sacred thing.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I sensed he was the one who might be able to see me clearly, the way I most wished to be seen.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I walked without breaks, slept through nights without waking, inhumanly smooth – a small machine.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Aspen Matis

We aren’t afraid of what we can explain. But the truth is stranger than an aimless road, it always was. The world was full of blinding mysteries, and I was blind to truth of what they were. There were things about the world I couldn’t understand.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I was the director of my life, it was already true, and I would soon lead myself to my dreamed-of destinations. It was the task of my one thousand miles of solitude.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Aspen Matis

She taught me only how to need to be taken care of. I was here because I needed to learn to take responsibility for making my own decisions — to earn my own trust.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I knew with certainty now—I could say no, and he would stop. Above all, I felt the fierce beauty of the choice. I knew now what it was that had held me from falling into my desire to be with him fully: I first needed to make sure he was a man who would respect my 'No.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Aspen Matis

There was so little I wanted to carry. Packing my backpack took me all of four minutes

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

For this entire walk, my desire had ashamed me, as if my wanting to be kissed that night mitigated the fault of Junior's sudden deafness. I'd been given stacks of reasons to blame myself for an act of violence committed by another. I had blamed my flirting for his subsequent felony. My college taught me: my rape was my shame. Everyone I'd trusted asked only what I might have done to let it happen. In my gut, I'd always believed I'd caused it. I finally questioned it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Aspen Matis

Chinese proverb says that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This journey had begun with the coercion of my body, with my own wild hope.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Aspen Matis

The way to self-love and admiration is to behave like someone whom you love and admire.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Aspen Matis

She told me that women who wore makeup had bad values. Putting on makeup would have been a statement—a rebellion. I didn’t try it. I grew to feel guilty for wanting to feel attractive.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I was placeless. I carried everything on my back, exactly what I needed to survive. I didn’t know how I’d survive without this structure, silent bears and vista highs, the infinite beauty.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I walked, floated, lighter—forty miles, my biggest day yet. I'd lifted the burden of guilt and shame off my body. I held my new hard-won wisdom, the gift three months of walking in the wilderness had carried me to: compassion for my younger self—forgiveness for my innocence.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I no longer needed to peel myself of my skin, or to hide. To Dash the colorless ephemeral things that existed just beneath my surface were as vivid as the beauty marks he traced on my cheek.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Aspen Matis

My relationship with my mother trapped me in the identity of a child.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

It took me almost two thousand miles in the woods to see I had to do some hard work that wasn’t simply walking—that I needed to begin respecting my own body’s boundaries. I had to draw clear lines. Ones that were sound in my mind and therefore impermeable, and would always, no matter where I walked, protect me. Moving forward, I wanted rules. First—when I felt unsafe I’d leave, immediately. The first time, not the tenth time. Not after a hundred red flags smacked in wind violently, clear as trail signs pointing the way to SNAKES. Not after I’d been bitten—the violation. If I wasn’t interested, I would reject the man blatantly.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Aspen Matis

All I could think as he was speaking was that, if he touched me at all, all the miles I’d walked, the pain I’d felt, the beauty I’d drunken like milk, like good wine making me happy, the four million steps I’d taken, would all add up to nothing. They’d be stolen.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Aspen Matis

Absolutely devout in her complete care of my body, she had only taught me to be weak and voiceless. But I had unlearned that lesson. Our enmeshment no longer felt to me like proof of love. I was no longer willing to permit this silencing. Helplessness didn't have to be my identity, I wasn't condemned to it. I was willing—able—to change. Our enmeshment had been enabled by my belief that I needed her to help me, to take care of things for me—and to save me—but, back in the home where I'd learned this helplessness, I found I no longer felt that I was trapped in it.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I don’t remember having one conversation with my dad in the three days I was home, but looking back at my journal, I see I wrote about him. I scrawled about how I heard him telling my mom that I needed to go back. I was unhappy; he thought the hiking was better for me. I wonder why he told these things to my mother, nothing to me. I wonder if overhearing his approval encouraged me to finally fly back to the trail. Maybe. Maybe my father’s faith in my walk—in me—made me feel strong enough to leave. His actual words, as I wrote them in my notebook, were, “She’s an adult now, she can do what she wants. It doesn’t mean she’s not selfish.” He almost understood.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I was desperate not to confront the fact that this really could be it—that "nineteen" didn't matter, that there really was a point at which even young bodies fail. I was not immortal.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Aspen Matis

When I felt strongly I would say it strongly.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I realized that the most empowering important thing was actually simply taking care of myself.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I felt like I belonged to an ancient tradition of all young people given this same task of finding their own ways through to the futures they wanted for themselves.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I was promising myself strength. I had to write it, say it, make the effort and fake it before I actually believed I could do it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Aspen Matis

But the truth was stranger than an aimless road, it always was.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Aspen Matis

We aren’t afraid of what we can explain.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I couldn’t yet piece together the disconnected clues to understand the origin of these lights. To explain away strange magic, I’d convinced myself there was an unseen road cutting across the boundless desert floor like a scar. I imagined its different possible courses. The mystery intrigued me. I couldn’t think of the real destination this road would have been built to lead to, but I accepted I couldn’t see, and I accepted it was there, strange but – from where I stood – a beautiful vision.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

If I could mark clearly, convincingly and consistently what was good for me and also what was bad — if I could say yes and also no, as if it were the law — it would become my law. It finally had to. I understood that it wouldn’t be easy, it would be very hard; I’d need to resist the habit I had developed long ago – with conviction. I’d have to be impolite, an inconvenience, and sometimes awkward. But if I could commit, all that discomfort would add up to zap predatory threats like a Taser gun. I’d stun them. They’d bow to me. I’d let my no echo against the mountains. And better to feel bad for a moment saying no – and stop it – than to get harmed.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

I wanted both things: strength in my independence and also this new desire. This felt like the beginning of a new kind of love.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aspen Matis

Fire is not essential. Fire is warm comfort. From fire, cultures are born.