butterfly cocoons and mountain tops

This post is a blend of things; truly reflective of this last week of my life. I started off thinking I was going to write about self-protection and rebuilding. I saw a show recently (at the theater I work for), a sensory theatre piece for little children about the life cycle of a butterfly. I was most intrigued by the cocoon and the idea of a safe place to grow. To be honest with you (and I always try to be honest) I am feeling a bit stuck right now. Maybe stuck is the wrong work. Contemplative or theoretical, those might be better choices. I am working on a few creative projects but they are in the planning or developing stage. I know from the past that this time makes me antsy or more prone to doubt or worry. Inherently more aware and potentially more sensitive. So a cocoon might be nice, somewhere warm and safe to incubate.

But then, as the world is known to do, I am shoved out of my revere and daydreams by one of my personal passions. An obsession. Art heists? Well that’s a good guess and while that is still ongoing and ever stronger it is not the mind plague of the last few days. This has to do with Mount Everest. I freely confess to having a wicked obsession with the mountain. I cannot really blame anyone and I cannot seem to shake it. It was a major part of my first play. Beyond the mountain itself, I adore a sherpa named Apa Sherpa. **I digress for a minute because I really thought I had blogged about Everest and Apa in the past but I don’t think I have, which is weird.** Anyway… Apa is amazing. He is currently (today is May 20th) on his way to Camp 4 on Mount Everest and on Saturday morning (May 22nd) he will make his 20th and last summit attempt. Yes, you read that right. His 20th summit attempt. It is a record that I imagine will stand for quite a long time. I don’t want to dive into the details (his site has information or email me if you want to know more) but he so important to me and I cannot adequately explain the reason. His journey, his life path is something I honor and admire. He began working as a climbing guide on Everest at age 13 after the death of his father. He moved to the US Pacific Northwest as an adult because he wanted his children to have a better life. In one interview he said he would have gone to college and maybe done something in medicine but he never had the opportunity. On his recently climbs, all the money raised has been for various philanthropies and he bring awareness to environmental issues on his ascents. He’s truly an incredible human being.

(his photo from base camp)

While I’m whining (okay maybe not literally whining) about feeling a bit stuck with a few projects or bemoaning my less than comfortable growth process, Apa is sleeping in a tent over 21, 000 feet in the air. There’s nothing like a ridiculously clear sense of the world and its vastness and opportunity to jolt you out of any brewing malaise. There’s nothing like realizing you don’t fit in that cocoon anymore and it makes no sense to go back in. And I found out yesterday that it gets even more incredible. Not only is Apa up there doing his thing again but there is a 13 year old boy from California, Jordan Romero, who is also climbing the mountain. Unfortunately Jordan (and his father, a family friend and three native sherpas) have to climb the more challenging and less traversed northeast ridge route starting in Tibet because Nepal has a climbing age minimum of 16. I was comforted to read that his father is a critical care flight paramedic specializing in altitude physiology and care. But still, now that is brave. Some people might argue with me and think it’s foolish but he seems as prepared as the adults making the journey (he is 5’10” and weights 160lbs so he’s bigger than most sherpas already). But then again, I’m the girl who wants to stand at Base Camp so I perhaps have a bit of the crazy in me as well.

In any case, I wish both Apa and Jordan a safe ascent and return (it’s the coming back down that’s really tricky). And I thank them for shaking me out of my self-absorption; for reminding me that there truly is no ceiling or safety net or permanent cocoon.


It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” Sir Edmond Hillary

Things I’m Digging This Week: Aleia’s gluten free cookies (it’s so bad that I know they exist) and Miracle (this story never gets old)

Dream Role: I’m reading some new plays so I’ll get back to you… for fun I will say I’d love to voice an animated/illustrated character

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