There are a lot of us humans who live on the edge. There are.
I thought of this because of the date. This May 29th. Back on this day in 1953, Edmund Hillary (New Zealand) and Tenzing Norgay (Nepal) became the first human-type beings to reach the summit of Mount Everest. They were a part of a British Expedition. There they were, alone, cold, sucking air, struggling. And they reached the top. The first humans to do it.
Certainly. Not the last.
The photos that have been gathering attention in the media lately show a much different Mount Everest. First of all, and most notably, is the picture of the hundreds of people lined up, waiting to continue with their ascent to the summit. Lined up, like at Disney World. People are dying because of these log jams. Experienced climbers are being hampered by the ones that are “bucket-listing” the thing.
My take on this is not a favorable one. I find it completely absurd in every way. But my brain doesn’t work the way that others do. I have found this to be true quite frequently. In fact, lately, I have been agreeing with that wise guy, Mr. Einstein, when he noted, “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”
I have come to believe that stupidity knows no limits.
Back to the Everest thing. I don’t really see the point in the first place. What does this do? How does it help? Why is it important to reach the top of Mt. Everest? A personal challenge? Because it is there? I think challenging ourselves and our capacities is a great thing. But, I am missing out on the end game on this one. The climbing of a tall, snowy mountain?
And these days, there seems to be an influx of people wishing to do so. I learned the other day, it costs $11,000 just to get a permit to enter the base camp. I am wondering if they know how much food that would buy for hungry people. Or sponsorship for unwanted animals at shelters, if perhaps they don’t like people. Or. Or.
If this weren’t enough, the global warming issues comes around. For the first time in history, these upper mountainous areas are starting to thaw out in many places. As such, all the frozen waste from previous adventures is thawing out too. It is making for highly unpleasant circumstances.
Here’s the thing about that. Whenever we visit any National Park, we use the “pack it in, pack it out” rule. That means EVERYTHING, excluding urine. It is the Golden Rule in most of those places. So it astounds me that there is all this waste coming to life on high mountains. One, because someone left it there. And two, because we are destroying our planet, and those frozen sacred grounds are melting into oblivion.
What are we doing? Humans. What?
By my estimation, we live in a country where we are ruled by a stupid president who doesn’t even acknowledge global warming. He needs to invite some credible scientists to the White House and buy them some McDonald’s Cheeseburgers so he can get up to speed on things.
But back to Everest.
There are so many people climbing it these days, that I’d think it would somehow be passe’. Apparently not. It seems like it has evolved into a roller coaster ride at a theme park. Line up, just to say you rode the thing.
And if there are mountain climbers reading, perhaps you can send me a note, and explain it to me. Why on earth do you put your life at risk to go up the face of a mountain? It seems like there are some pretty wild knitting classes that do the trick for a lot of people. If it is the adrenaline you need, see a doctor, for crying out loud.
Or, go on some country road, and follow squirrels into traffic for a day or two.
Here’s the thing.
I do a lot wrong. There is a lot about living, and life, that I say to myself, “Polly. Dumbass. Why did you do that?”
So who am I to judge?
But hey. I get my thrills by guessing the numbers that pop up in the lottery hopper, when it shows up on TV at nights. I never buy tickets. I just like to guess.
I’m living on the edge, I know.
I guess the bottom line is that we are all trying to achieve what is important to us. In our own ways. So today, climb your mountain. Whatever, where ever, that mountain may be.
“You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.”
― Andy Warhol
“All serious daring starts from within.”
― Eudora Welty, On Writing
“The bravest are the most tender; the loving are the daring.”
― Bayard Taylor