Everest-007 August 2007

Acclimitizing 8/9/2007
Hello to All,

I can’t believe almost another month has passed. I’ve just wrapped up my intensive summer teaching schedule and I feel like I am surfacing for a breath of air. One of my teammates sent me a CD with his pictures on it. The picture of Everest’s shadow is his. I looked at the pictures with such a paradox of emotion running through me. I continue to write my Everest book for a few hours each morning. This week I have been writing, and therefore reliving, the decision to stop the climb.

When I looked at Nat’s summit day photos I was filled with such joy that it all came together for him, with pride in knowing that I now know about 40 people personally who’ve summitted Everest, with sadness and disappointment in how my own climb turned out. Seeing the pictures reminds me of what I didn’t get to see-even though I have seen all those same images in books for years. I guess I wanted to drink them in through my own eyes.

It’s funny. The disappointment changes and morphs and ebbs and flows. Some days I’m sad I didn’t get to see the curvature of the earth. Other days the South Col. Some days I wish for completion and others I am filled with appreciation for all the gifts that stopping the climb early delivered. Some days I don’t even think about the mountain and on others, it’s all I think about. Like the acclimatization process, I go up, I breathe thin air, I come down and recover. I do it again. And again.

I notice that it can be hard to share the disappointment. It’s much easier to stay with the positive side of things. But alas, like life at altitude, it’s all there. It’s life to the fullest. Life at the edge. Life where lessons unfold almost with the certainty of tides.

I continue to make good progress on the book. The publisher has told me who my editor will be and I know have a working title, “My Everest: More than a Mountain.” My deadline, for the polished manuscript is November 2 so I have to stay on task with it. I’m glad to have gotten so much written over the past weeks despite my intensive teaching schedule.

I’ve been having fun watching Takunda grow…each day he looks different or discovers something new about his world. Recently he discovered his tongue. I’ve also been doing lots of photography. I shot a friend’s wedding and have been allowing my more creative photography urges to come to fruition. I’m also doing a major reno at home-reworking the look and feel of my space. Climbing Everest has lead to so many places I never imagined. I’m getting close to setting my next climbing goal so watch this space carefully for that announcement in the next while.

Take good care,

TA

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