Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yosemite October 1981

It's snowing. All the climbers are huddling in the lodge or lingering as long as possible in the cafeteria over cups of coffee and tea. It is all so familiar to me. I've done so much spacing out in the past years at different places in the world, different mountain ranges waiting for the weather to clear, to go back up, to get out of the tent and start to climb. Or putting idle time in some cafĂ© in Europe or somewhere else along the way. Waiting for the weather to break in the far north, to be flown into some vast glacier range. There have been so many times like this, my mind wandering, to past experiences in my life, to friends long since seen, to future climbs. My imagination is a gift for my life. The climbs to do are creations to understand, not to be surprised. Experience has been my teacher as I have studied the mountains intensely… I am so lucky to have such a life – to have such freedom - not the social and political but the freedom that is my spirit. I don't know where it comes from - the life has been from you - but what is the spirit? There are many climbers as I look around this room – all different – some restless, some new at the "hang" in life. The drives are as different as the people. I am lucky to be able to sit in this room, in the fields, on the glaciers, on the wall. It's empty and yet I'm full.

A letter to Mom
Mugs Stump
28 August 1949; 21 May 1992