Hiking in LA is generally a pretty tame affair. The most strenuous part is usually finding street parking on a weekend. But on Saturday I found myself an exception to that rule, scrambling up a crumbling rock face somewhere in the canyons of Malibu. My hands and knees were scraped with missteps, brambles clung to my hair, and a thick layer of dust darkened every inch of exposed skin. I was alive in the rare, magnified way that exceeds living.
At one point, I found myself at a particularly steep and tricky impasse, the next foothold just out reach. There was a craggy, dead branch looking like it had seen some shit at just the right height to pull myself up. I put only a little of my weight on the branch, then half, then three quarters, testing it for trustworthiness. And at the last moment, it crackled menacingly, a warning to find my bearings elsewhere.
The whole process probably took ten seconds. It was such a simple, natural, self-preserving maneuver, but I can remember a time before caution.
Growing up in the woods of Washington, I’d fall more often than I’d save myself, believing blindly (and wrongly) that twigs or a fistful of pine needles would be enough to stop a slide down a ravine. I’d trust a fallen log to hold my weight when it couldn’t even keep itself up.
I’m not really sure how this story ends, so I’ll just say this: certain parts of life are structurally unsound, and self-preservation is not in my blood. But I’m trying.
London based singer/songwriter Alexander Wolfe returns with new single, “I Can’t Get To Sleep”, out now on Dharma Records. Marrying influences of folk and americana ‘I Can’t Get To Sleep’ is an exhilarating return from the south-Londoner. The driving, hook-laden single belies its somewhat taboo subject matter; depression and mental illness. He talks about the stigma attached to what has become the biggest killer of men under 40 and is keen to remove those taboos and help increase awareness of this dark and deadly disease.
Look for a new album this year.