When it comes to living life on the mountain, there is only
one thing you must know: ‘giving up’ is not
in the vocabulary for the mountain, nor can it be
Undeniably, the first step is always
the hardest. By the second you might still hesitate.
By the 10th the internal rhythm of your becoming
is congratulating you for taking up an effort
worthy of your time.
As minutes turn to hours and for every
kilometre already behind you
there is another five, twenty, seventy
more to climb,
looking back never shows you
the way forward.
What looking back does show you is how
you got to where you are. Each stumble, detour,
rainfall and mudslide has once been your future,
turned into the present and now presents itself to you
as the past. A single decision on the path
is merely the beginning of a sequence
Respect is what the climb requires of you.
Fusing that appreciation into each one of your
steps helps you a top another mountain.
It might not be this one.
Suffering and boundless joy. Contained serenity.
Hurt, pain, exhaustion. Ecstasy. No,
that’s not the top yet. As you keep climbing
you come across with more of the same and
as all of these little bits of what once was you fade
from sight and, eventually, turn to dust, you’ll learn
none of it was yours to keep.
All of it is yours to let go of.
Exhale and face the light.
Rainfall might not at first seem
like a great hinderance to climbing,
but the most experienced of us know what
the rain is asking of you. It is asking for time.
Feel it as much as you can, let your skin drink it in.
Then find shelter and wait.
If you have others to wait with, savour it.
It’s a delicacy.
Chances are the top will never be reached, or
all the tops are reached until infinity cracks open,
giving birth to another infinity and that infinity is also
full of mountains. If that’s the case, being cheerful
“When you fail, the soul throws a party.“
- C.G. Jung
‘Climb’ need not suggest strain, labour, or weight.
It is simply a way of moving forward in the world while aiming
for something that is above you. If your aim is right,
it should be above you, it should fill you with awe that is larger
than your self.
Your aim shifts with you and you shift
with it. Like the needle of the compass pointing north,
your internal pointer calibrates itself with every step.
North has a certain magnetic pull, and your personal
north has its own. To be able to listen to that resonance and
let it be the guide is the stuff intuition is made of.
An experienced climber knows that whenever
the view from atop the mountain reveals itself,
another one, somewhere,
is waiting and it is a relief - for then she can let go
without any need to hold on to fear or fear
the end of things.