The wind whispers with the voices of the long gone as it races across the snowy tundra, redistributing the powdery snow as it wishes. Creating a vast artwork of spiral patterns across the land, only appreciable to those capable of getting a sufficient vantage. Not one such as me as I toil across the frozen land, my footprints a momentary imperfection upon nature’s work.
Before me rising from the frozen land they rise, like the fingers of a hand, vast beyond imagination. They strain against the bonds of the earth even as they desire the sky, am I so much different. I may not be bound by Gleipnir, but still I desire, I desire the sky, the sun, and the stars. I wish to tread upon all the moons, I wish to look back and see everything that ever was.
I will never get these wishes of mine, this trudge across the open plains will bring me no closer to my nirvana, to my liberation. It will bring me close to the fingers of a being who strains for more. In the end maybe that’s all I want, more. I know no matter how I try I will never leave my mark, just like my footprints it will be worn away in time.
The true enormity of the hand beneath the earth is beyond comprehension until, like I have you stand beneath the fingers, and look back upon the shadow they cast farther than the eye can see. It makes me think that I might always be in the shadow of that which is greater than myself. I don’t think this is bad in any way, who am I but a man striving for more, how can I hope to challenge these towering snowcapped peaks.
Maybe I’m mad, to consider such a thing. To even have the thought of challenging such an ancient thing, something so beyond what I will ever be. Yet, if I am mad I revel in it, as I begin my accent. The whispering winds, and the cold that nipped at my nose were a simple prelude for what awaits me on those unseen heights. These mountains contain a piece of the world that would fit well within the inferno.
That could be why my ascent up these walls of ice and stone feel almost as if I’m heading down. Into an open abyss that yawns open above us all, how many people look up? In their day to day lives how often do they look up, and contemplate the infinity just beyond their heads. I stare into that abyss now, and I don’t think it even notices.
What is there to notice? Just a lone person far beyond the reach of civilization, and the fires that sustain us, struggling against the elements trying to delve deep into an abyss, that cannot even comprehend the existence of humanity. That could be what I want to be notice by something that considers the death of stars to be commonplace.
Is it hope that drives me up, past what my body was ever made to handle? I am no longer alive up here simply a body that have refused to acknowledge my own death. I keep toiling upwards, moving through the air incapable of filling my lungs or cool the burning that engulfs them. It’s not just my lungs that burn in this world incapable of sustaining a fire, it’s everything.
It’s as if the world is trying to pull me apart piece by piece, and I resist. A struggle that only intensifies as I grow closer and closer to the sky. I’m losing bit by bit I cannot win, not up here not against the world. Ironic in a way that I cannot win against something that cannot think, the one thing that made humanity so much greater than all the other life on this planet.
That’s a theme I see, we grew too intelligent found too many ways to beat those who could not compete. Yet we keep losing, just like I am losing against this mountain just like I will always lose again this mountain, in the long run. Others are losing as well in hospitals they are losing against things that cannot even be seen, so tiny so simplistic that people debate whether or not they should even be counted as alive.
Does it matter? Sure we are losing, but who cares what matters isn’t the losing it’s the struggle. It’s that eternal battle just to prove that we are alive, to prove that we are worthy of this quirk of the universe that granted us sentience. As I see the final peak above me I don’t care about the battle, I don’t care that I am already dead.
Because looking down, I can see the patterns left by the whispering winds on the wide open tundra. I can see the end of the shadow cast by these eternal fingers grasping for the sky. From the top of the world, I have won over them, gone farther than they ever have. Not farther than they ever will, because victory is momentary, it’s always up for grabs. To be a victor is to look down at others with nowhere to go but up. Which is why to be a victor is to look down the slopes where my passing is already being forgotten and think to myself.
“Well I guess it’s time to go home.”