Climbing Your Everest

I’ve been spending a lot of time today reading the “How To be Creative” text I quoted in my last post, and thinking about it a lot. One element of it has really stuck in my head:

Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.

You may never reach the summit; for that you will be forgiven. But if you don’t make at least one serious attempt to get above the snow-line, years later you will find yourself lying on your deathbed, and all you will feel is emptiness.

This metaphorical Mount Everest doesn’t have to manifest itself as “Art”. For some people, yes, it might be a novel or a painting. But Art is just one path up the mountain, one of many. With others the path may be something more prosaic. Making a million dollars, raising a family, owning the most Burger King franchises in the Tri-State area, building some crazy oversized model airplane, the list has no end.

Whatever. Let’s talk about you now. Your mountain. Your private Mount Everest. Yes, that one. Exactly.

Let’s say you never climb it. Do you have a problem with that? Can you just say to yourself, “Never mind, I never really wanted it anyway” and take up stamp collecting instead?

Well, you could try. But I wouldn’t believe you. I think it’s not OK for you never to try to climb it. And I think you agree with me. Otherwise you wouldn’t have read this far.

So it looks like you’re going to have to climb the frickin’ mountain. Deal with it.

My advice? You don’t need my advice. You really don’t. The biggest piece of advice I could give anyone would be this:

“Admit that your own private Mount Everest exists. That is half the battle.”
And you’ve already done that. You really have. Otherwise, again, you wouldn’t have read this far.
Rock on.

This really reinforced my own thoughts about my “just do it” ethic. Do whatever it is that you want to do, even if only for a little bit each day. Even if it’s disposable and you throw it away when you’re done, appreciate the process not the product. Be a writer. Be a musician. Be an artist. Write. Compose. Draw. Whatever. Just be.

So, to all my right-brained friends out there, I challenge you to do just that: be.

Jimmy, make some music. Set aside even 15 minutes each night to put on the headphones (wouldn’t want to annoy Steve, would we? *LOL*) and make some noise. Don’t be afraid that it won’t be any good, throw it away when you’re done if that’s how it ends up. But you’ll be doing it. You’ve consistently amazed me with the stuff you come up with, and I love you for that. Especially considering you couldn’t tell a G chord from a G-String. *wink* There’s a natural talent there that transcends the “rules”. Be.

Melissa, keep writing. You said you expect to have a lot of free time while you’re in India. Use it. Start keeping a journal again (assuming you haven’t already done so). You’ve got that nice new blog, fill it up! Your posting about the Buddhist unicorns has had me thinking ever since I read it (and I’ll probably post about it here once I’ve collected my thoughts enough.) You make me think all the time, every time I read something you’ve written, and I love you for that. You have a gift, and you’ll write that book you want to write some day, but you have to start it first. Be.

Anyone else I’m forgetting? I’m sure there is and I offer my apologies for doing so. The same thing applies: be.

Okay, I’ll shut up and leave you all alone. For now. There’s a lot more from that article I’m thinking a lot about, and I’m sure I’ll ramble on about it soon enough. Right now, I can’t put two notes together to make even disposable crap, so (for the time being) I’m channeling that creative energy into words instead.