Climb A Mountain Claire Allinson
ach day I face my Everest. My front door is an impenetrable wall of ice and stone separating me from the world outside. Some days I ascend, my confidence swelling with each step until I reach my summit, dizzy with euphoria, planting a flag of victory in my front garden as I join the world. Other days I don’t. The wall is just too slippery to climb and the strength to conquer it deserts me. Today, like many before, I stand at my doorstep basecamp and face the slope. The glass on my door shining as the sunlight creeps through like a glacier on a sun-drenched day. Knowing that if I could climb to the top there are riches beyond my wildest dreams – fresh air, companionship, normality, life. Like the promise of a win on the lottery on the condition you simply buy a ticket. ‘It’s that easy,’ I tell myself. ‘Just turn the handle and climb. Don’t think, just do.’ But an inner voice stops me – warning me of the avalanche of dangers ahead, the likelihood that I will slip. Fall. Fail. ‘I’m a headline addict, searching out stories to fuel the fear within. Knowledge equals control and I crave [it] like an addict craves their fix. But the more knowledge I have, the less control it gives me. I fear the story of Pandora and her box – worried that I too may unleash unknown terrors with the simple action of opening something. Channelling my rage and bitterness, I dare myself to peer out of the small, hazy glazed oblong. What does it veil? What horrors, what delights lurk beyond? It’s impossible to tell through the glass.’ Next time I reach for the handle maybe I will find the hope that Pandora left behind. Tomorrow I will climb my Everest and I will be on top of the world.
Image: Heimstraße by Javier Arce (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)