Existential Explorations of Rock & Mind in Joshua Tree, CA

An embedded outsider finds calm and clarity in the sun bleached life of the dirtbag climber

Existential Explorations of Rock & Mind in Joshua Tree, CA

Author

Tom Daly

Photographer

Chadwick Tyler

Camera

Sony a7R III

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The following photo essay was contributed by our friends District Vision, an emerging experience-driven brand at the intersection of mindfulness and sport. This is not a sponsored post. We simply appreciate their aesthetic and approach to product, and think you will too. Enjoy.

Tom Daly is a New York City-based runner, practitioner of mindfulness, and co-founder of District Vision.

Chadwick Tyler is a Brooklyn-based fashion and fine art photographer.

As we drove passed the Institute of Mentalphysics near Twentynine Palms, CA the sun was rising. Piercing across the sky, it ironically exposed the other main institution in town—The Marine Air Ground Combat Center, the largest Marine base in the U.S., covering just under 1,000 square miles.

The town acts as a gateway to Joshua Tree’s slightly lesser known northern entrance, through which we accompanied six climbers on recent field trip.

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Fresh from sleeping in our vans we entered the park munching on nuts and bars with the goal of earmarking the boulders and walls said climbers wanted to test themselves on over the next two days. 

Deep in the park with no people in sight, I felt we’d found an alternate universe. Not geographically, but inside ourselves. Sun bleached figures scurried out of their tents, cooked their food, and conversed freely. Gone were the phones, headphones, and other modern barriers to integration.

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"With this came a certain peace. The type of peace that gives you the feeling they might just have figured something out."

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These students of the sport had dedicated a great deal of their lives to the climbing practice, and found this alternative life as an expression of that. To an outsider, with this came a certain peace. 

The type of peace that gives you the feeling they might just have figured something out. An operating model in this infinitely more complex society of interconnected people and devices. A healthy choice for the chosen few that might take solace in the words of Krishnamurti - “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." 

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Published 06-04-2019

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