Into Thinner Air

Accompanied with most Himalayan-mountaineering books is a profound melancholy that drenches and soaks like the chilled water from a bucket shower. To audiences, these books perhaps seem stupid as people unnecessarily put their lives at risk and for what? A high elevation pass or summit? Authors implore the cozied and comfortable reader to try to understand the pull of the vast mountains and need to climb. I like every other reader was begged, and I too thought I understood. I’m not sure whether it was the words of the writer or being so absorbed in the environment of the Himalayas, but I understood. The vast empathy I felt for every climber and every person allowed the writer unprincipled access to my emotions and of course gave me little choice but to continue the story as I had more than just vested interest in knowing what would happen next.

This empathetic state is dangerous especially when it lingers after the final words have been read. It forces the viewer to desire and seek something that they hadn’t ever known they needed. To some that is called inspiration. To me it feels more like desperation. It’s only in writing and analyzing what had happened that I find solace. I then can purge my mind of the abstract, enveloping thoughts and take in my hip pocket the constructive ideas that will aid me as I continue my life.

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