One word inspiration: Finally.
“Finally, the peak.” “Finally, it’s mine.” “Finally, it’s over.”
We’re obsessed with the finale. The conclusion, the ending, the resolution to be done with something and move on. We are designed by our own progression. It only makes sense to employ ourselves in this way. But are we consciously aware of any of that? What are we in such a rush to complete? Why can we often only see the end? Who are we to think there to be some ultimate satisfactory absolution upon reaching the peak?
Step back, look. There is no singular peak; there are peaks, to be approached without end, until ‘the end.’ We deign to climb to them in a fury. But while we grasp handhold after handhold, head up, we miss something else, something greater. We strive towards the peak, it empowers us to dream. You cannot begin without inspiration. There is value in ambitions to realize legends. But home is made on the mountain, not in the sky. More than the destination is the undertaking. The self is more than its own destiny.
I venture that ‘Finally’ is an illusion in need of being reshaped. On the precipice of our aspirations, we are caught up in something continuous. Our consciousness feels like it might be an inscrutable, impenetrable, ageless engine of experience. It feels as though it is outside our control. So we let it go. However, as we are astride the path to what we believe to be our destiny, it can be a distressing companion. It has been borne to churn and to be perpetually in motion. We do attain the peak, our finale, but we find we are not fulfilled. The Big C thusly leads us unto the breach once more. The next one. We begin again.
There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s perfectly natural. We live and learn, we keep moving. We are disturbed and then soothed, concussed and then tranquilized. But there must be some way to change the mind, at least a little. Right? A tweak and a refinement. How do I combat these naturally unconscious drifts into reveries of ethereal exoneration? How to be free from the singularity of your envisioned finale?
Why are you on the side of this mountain?
Stop. Pay attention. Breathe in. Breathe out. Look down at the forest below. Not the whole forest. The tree. That one. Smell the scents of the bark and the leaves and the ground filled with life undetected. Gaze through the canopy’s branching streams of sunlight. Let the warmth of the forest’s embrace engulf your form. Sink your toes into the soil. Mountain pose. Take your time here. Look up, into the sky. Catch the drifts of the clouds. Be aware of the Sun’s magnificent blazing sphere. Let your eyes wander, but then focus your sights on what it might find for a time. Then continue the wander. Let your mind do the same. Let the thoughts and images and unspoken, unbidden feelings in. Observe them. Then return to the breath. Close your eyes and open them. Forest x Sky x Mountain. Be mindful of the Truth of your position, wherever it may be. Contemplate the endeavor you seek, endeavor to fill each step to it with moments of this separation. Embrace the existence of many peaks. Now reach out. Touch the trunk. Touch the sky. Touch the next rocky handhold. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Now, keep climbing.