excerpt from jon krakauer’s into the wild:

all that held me to the mountainside, all that held me to the world, were two thin spikes of chrome molybdenum stuck half an inch into a smear of frozen water, yet the higher i climbed, the more comfortable i became.  early on a difficult climb, especially a difficult solo climb, you constatnly feel the abyss pullint at your back.  to resist takes a tremendous conscious effor; you don’t dare let your guard down for an instant.  the siren song of the void puts you on edge; it makes your movements tentative, clumsy, herky-jerky.  but as the comb goes on, you grow accustomed to the exposure, you get used to rubbing shoulders with doom, you come to believe in a reliability of your hands and feet and head.  you learn to trust your self-control.

but and by your attention becomes so intensely focused that you no longer notice the raw knuckles, the cramping thighs, the strain of maintaining nonstop concentration.  a trancelike state settles over your efforts; the climb becomes a clear-eyed dream.  hours fly by like minutes.  the accumulated clutter of day-to-day existence–the lapses of conscience, the unpaid bills, the bungled opportunities, the dust under the couch, the inescapable prison of your genes–all of it is temporarily forgotten, crowded from you thoughts by an overpowering clarity of purpose and by the seriousness of the task at hand.

i miss climbing.


2 Responses to “flatlands”

  1. the gym opens up this Thursday!!!

    climb on! on belay!

  2. 2 Jamin

    Whatever happened to the wall that you were going to put in your stairwell? If you build it, I will climb.

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