Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mt. Batulao: 6 years after

August 18, 2008

With all my muscles still trembling and aching, i plunged myself into the world of busyness here at work :D It was as if i had given birth to 12 puppies, i could barely inch forward, with all my muscles swelling but with pride and sheer joy after an ascent to the Batulao mountains.

My ever hyperactive OSA Servi friends have decided to conduct an adventurous seemingly insane bonding, a climb back to Mt. Batulao. After 6 years, back we are in this mountain, still alive and kicking, but with seemingly absurd nor advanced hyperactive thoughts that is ontological...epistemological... freaking weird!

"JOKO: Wala na tayong no choice."
"SWEET: Basta make sure para sigurado"
"Words from Concise JOVI's Dictionary: Balibol, Hiringgilya, Lapirot" "ARIS: Nipple Fight muna"
"AVEL: Traverse tayo sa Mt. Makulot next time."

We started off on the murky trail alongside the residential area. We were guided by Patrick, a 15-year old lad, who seem to have countlessly ascended to the summit of the mountain, but not on the peak of the supposed vertical measurement for his age. (ahaha, we love you Patrick!)

We trod the new trail, which was much dangerous and much difficult than the path we took six years ago.

We were faced with an avalanche of danger on the route, but the group was full of confidence drawn from the cheers and jeers that bind our eager spirits.

As our feet, tensed and cramped passed through the rim of a steep boulder, i then realized the life that i am wrong move, one wrong step, i will fall short to the grounds with all my bones broken.. with the life that i am holding taking its toll. It was altogether the most unsatisfactory feeling that i felt, with the fear adding up to our unprotected journey. ANd this is where the thought of death immediacy surfaced.

Friedrich Nietzsche says that the devotion of the greatest is to encounter risk and danger, and play dice for death. And true enough, death teaches us the value of life. It helps us sort our life priorities. "To put yourself into a situation where a mistake cannot necessarily be recouped, where the life you lose may be your own, clears the head wonderfully. It puts domestic problems back into proportion and adds an element of seriousness to your drab, routine life. Perhaps this is one reason why climbing has become increasingly hard as society has become increasingly, disproportionately, coddling." A. Alvarez , The Games Climbers Play

For that brief period, it dawned on me how directly i am responsible for my actions, for my own life.

What wondrous gains shall we reap upon reaching the summit?

bliss at the summit

The conquest indeed brings moments of bliss and exultations that no amount of material existence could bring. True enough, it poses a great deal of peril on us, but it is one of the tests that we must withstand for us to be worthy of rising for an instant above the state of crawling grubs.

"There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behavior of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. It's no use. So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won't see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for." (George Leigh Mallory, 1922)

"What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know."(Rene Daumal)

Come live with me, and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove, That valleys, groves, hills, and fields, Woods, or steepy mountains yields. -- Christopher Marlowe