the climb

07/28/2009

years ago I brimmed with ambition
surrounded by my peers, each had a plan
from this basecamp to the heights of the world
we began the efforts of ascension
one and all took separate paths

some followed in the steps of others’ successes
thrown lifelines and advice on how to go
while others traversed almost horizontally risking little
yet some faced steep incline and began the freeclimb
people considered those exploring the lowlands to be fools
as they watched each fail or ascend along each way
none of us were guaranteed to summit attempt

oh, how the climate would affect the trip
but we were young and set forth anyway
ill equipped, lacking strength and know-how
mistakes and inaction, apathy and disillusionment
plagues which hindered, like ravines and icy ground
even worse were hubris and arrogance
these made others mislead those to harder climbs
still some fell off, never to be seen again

they say that there is a summit
and all logic leads us to believe
or else we are all fools to be chasing after it
but there are few who have been there
and yet fewer who have the proof
but, still we climb in hopes
of standing on the top of the world

when we slip, we pick ourselves up
it’s more a matter of survival that perseverance
then there are times when we think we’re through
and just then another climber offers a helping hand
but somehow when we think we haven’t gone far
we look down to dizzying heights
proving how hard and far we’ve climbed
the gear we’ve collected and the expertise
scars and stories, collectives of climbing peers
all the marks of seasoned aplinists

should I fall on today’s hike, never to get up again
my thoughts in my final moments will not be
on where the summit was or what was missed
but on what I’ve seen and by whom I’ll be missed
from the vistas and quiet times after a hard climb
to people who’ve been there to help me and
the tales of my own humble valor in desperate times
and I will fade happily into the abyss
finally summiting in my own way

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