Time to tear myself back down to a hollow reed, strip myself of all the fluff. There is nothing to be held except the breath when it sounds upon a note. Everything else can go to hell. One gets tied to all sorts of rules and legislation in relations with other people. But these walls we build around ourselves are meant to be broken. Can’t even take ourselves too seriously. What is in a name? What is in a face? What is in a heart?
On the peak of the highest mountain in the world, face to face with his aspirations, Ivan felt nothing but weariness. Now there was a long trek back down ahead of him. And what was there left in the world down there? Here in this place where no man rightfully belonged, with barely enough oxygen to formulate a complete thought, Ivan could see himself. Here, away from all the world, literally above it, the secret things hidden in his heart that drove him to drag himself here became evident. And they were all stupid. Stupid stupid stupid. Blind persistence and dedication to a purposeless task. Climbing a mountain just to prove something to himself. Well, he did it. He was there, standing on the peak. And what exactly had he proved? The whole thing seemed ridiculous. All the money, all the gear, all the training, all the sayings of goodbyes to friends who looked at him with the gentle pity of that bestowed on the harmlessly insane, all of the holding himself away from the women who would have loved him. He had left all of his life behind in order to do this, in order to get to this place where he now stood, and none of it seemed worth it. Was this why he had to come here? So that he could finally understand what he had been throwing away? Such waste.
Ivan turned and began the slow descent back into the atmosphere, back into the land of the living. He had wanted to just sit down and stay there forever on top, but he had not come there to die. He came there to see what it is to live.