“9. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.
You may never reach the summit; for that you will be forgiven. But if you don’t make at least one serious attempt to get above the snow-line, years later you will find yourself lying on your deathbed, and all you will feel is emptiness.
This metaphorical Mount Everest doesn’t have to manifest itself as “Art”. For some people, yes, it might be a novel or a painting. But Art is just one path up the mountain, one of many. With others the path may be something more prosaic. Making a million dollars, raising a family, owning the most Burger King franchises in the Tri-State area, building some crazy oversized model airplane, the list has no end.
Whatever. Let’s talk about you now. Your mountain. Your private Mount Everest. Yes, that one. Exactly.
Let’s say you never climb it. Do you have a problem witb that? Can you just say to yourself, “Never mind, I never really wanted it anyway” and take up stamp collecting instead?
Well, you could try. But I wouldn’t believe you. I think it’s not OK for you never to try to climb it. And I think you agree with me. Otherwise you wouldn’t have read this far.
So it looks like you’re going to have to climb the frickin’ mountain. Deal with it.
My advice? You don’t need my advice. You really don’t. The biggest piece of advice I could give anyone would be this:
“Admit that your own private Mount Everest exists. That is half the battle.”
And you’ve already done that. You really have. Otherwise, again, you wouldn’t have read this far.
Posted by hugh macleod at July 29, 2004″
When I read that from his blog called “Gaping Void,” images of art and writing and friends went flicking through my brain, I sort of felt like bawling, and I also got a a little hit of adrenaline. As usual, everything quickly simmered through my intellectual circuits and faded into a soft focus trance. When I looked up a couple minutes later, I just wanted to go make tea and start painting and not look at that Mountain idea for a while.
What is my Mt Everest? And why does it feel like a fantastic invitation and also full of pressure all at once? Zounds. Anyway, I hope I’m already on that climb. I keep trying to orient in that direction. (I feel a pull to start using descriptive words like compass and navigation to describe things, so I’m going to stop here and go back to painting).
Here’s a piece that has some interesting earlier stages, but I kept going anyway:
I turn 52 today. Its cloudy and gray and full of damp autumn in the air. I met my sweetest girlfriends for a gluten free pancake breakfast at an old Cafe that I worked at for 5 years while in graduate school~ a long time ago. Another year. Another leaf.