“In the pursuit of any passion, confidence is paramount. Without confidence, passion dies.” JSM
When I said I disappeared into nature with Nancy, a few years back, it wasn’t exactly what might be envisioned. It wasn’t as though we were tenting out in the middle of nowhere, living off the land, sleeping out under the stars and filtering water from a nearby stream; catching fish with a pole, huddled around a bonfire for warmth.
No. We rented a suite at the base of a mountain in early October and had access to a hot-tub and our own private deck. I was desperate for a vacation and the urge to “get away” and as far away as possible tugged at my heart and soul until I couldn’t take it anymore.
The resort was out of season and it seemed as if we were the only ones there. In fact, when it was time for our massages, the masseuse had to be called in by a special request. I made sure to tip her well for traveling all that way, for two people.
However, despite the fact it was a resort, I was indeed ensconced by the majesty of nature.
It was quiet. I was finally away from it all. Serene and peaceful. Only the pair of us and we had free reign of everything circling our little corner of the world.
The mountain was shaped like a towering pyramid and it exuded a magnetism that drew me to the base and pulled my eyes skyward. No snow had yet capped its peak, but it was enveloped by a thick ominous mist. Like some Lovecraftian beast of nature staring down, daring me to trek to its peak. The top of the pyramid mountain was hidden from view and it called to me.
I frothed to climb to the summit.
I’ve always had a strange fascination with pyramids. From Egypt, to the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico nestled within the City of the Gods. The one recently discovered along the Antarctica ice, to the Ziggurats in Iran and Iraq.
I love the mysteries of these colossal structures. How they’re supposedly constructed along geographical ley lines around the world. The pseudo-scientific speculation of their purposes and why they were built in the first place. Going beyond the idea they were created exclusively to house the dead in preparation for the afterlife.
The unfounded concept that if one places a dulled razor inside a pyramid, it can be reused, as the structure appears to re-sharpen the blade’s edge. Allegedly, the razor can be used for months even after dulled. Critters diagnosed with cancer and other illnesses that are seemingly healed, after spending time inside a pyramidal structure. The idea that a pyramid harnesses and distributes energy.
All the abstract notions that are easily dismissed as pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo.
Despite the mumbo jumbo, and guessing, I still feel its influence. In fact, even today, the pyramid displays power and importance, and at times easily overlooked and ignored.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is shaped liked a pyramid. The base and foundation is comprised of our basic needs. The physiological needs are represented first: Water, shelter, food. Half way up the pyramid are sections on psychological requirements: Safety, belongingness and feelings of accomplishment. At the top of the pyramid design, is self-actualization and the yearning to discover our true potential.
The food pyramid also comes to mind, as well as the Advertising Pyramid. Even company logos such as Citgo, Google Play, AOL, Bass, Delta Airlines and Hyundai Engineering (among many others) are all shaped like a pyramid.
An unfinished pyramid is even depicted on our dollar bill. But that’s a rabbit hole all in it’s own.
The mountain before me may not have been a man made structure comprised of hundreds of tons of hand carved rocks, but it was undeniably shaped like one, and beckoned me from afar. There’s something about pyramids that seem supernatural, and fill me with wonder.
Even though it’s illegal to climb one, I envy the gentleman who scaled to the top of the Pyramid of Khufu and was promptly arrested after his descent. I don’t particularly envy being handcuffed and placed in the backseat of a cruiser and charged with trespassing, but I envy the climb, and the view from the top. It must have been exhilarating.
For some reason, I need to climb.
“Where are we going?” She asked as we started across the dampened landscape.
I smirked and looked over my shoulder to Nancy, who was slowing her stride behind me. “We’re climbing to the top.” I replied, picking up the pace.
“Um, no. We can’t climb that. It’ll be dark soon. Look at that thing.”
“Then we better get a move on.”
“Hold on. Hold on. Of all the things we can do around here, why exactly are we climbing that?”
“Because it needs to be climbed.” I responded.
“That doesn’t really answer the question.” She crossed her arms and stared me down.
I looked to the top and sighed. “Mountains need to be scaled. They’re destined to be conquered. It taunts me. It’s telling me I can’t do it. I aim to prove otherwise.”
“Listen.” She joined my side and looked up into the swirling undulating fog high above us. “Maybe another time. Let’s go for a bike ride instead. Let’s soak in the hot tub. Let’s walk a trail. Let’s make some coffee and watch a funny movie. There’s so much more to do. We’ll never reach the top. At least not today.”
What happened next is the first time I’ve ever raised my voice to her. I didn’t necessarily speak at her, but instead screamed at the ground below my feet, the palms of my shaking hands pressed into my temples.
“I’M TIRED OF BEING TOLD I CAN’T DO IT!”
She didn’t even flinch at my outburst. She closed the distance and placed her hand on my shoulder. “No one’s saying it can’t be done, but we should consider the variables. It’ll be dark soon. It’s been raining. It’s cold. It could be muddy. We could lose our way. We don’t have any water. Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean it should be tackled immediately. We gotta think this through. You really want to do this, don’t you? I can see it in your eyes.”
I resigned to defeat. “No. You’re right. It can’t be done today. I was being impulsive.” I smiled and looked to the sky. “I’m sorry I yelled. I’ve just been told repeatedly that I can’t do something or I shouldn’t do something. My ideas and dreams are foolish. It gets tiring after awhile.”
“I know how you feel.”
“There. Something else we have in common.”
She kicked a rock across the grass and stuffed her hands in her jacket pockets. “Other than climbing a mountain, what is it you want to do? You say you’ve been told your dreams are foolish and ignore the things you want to do. What is it? What do you want to do?”
I stopped and blinked away a welling tear. I had to turn away and avoid her persistent gaze. “To be honest, I have no idea right now.” I swallowed hard and met her eyes. “Hopefully someday it comes to me.”
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