"The whole purpose of climbing something like Everest is to effect some sort of spiritual and physical gain. But if you compromise the process you’re an asshole when you start out and an asshole when you get back." ~Yvon Chouinard
The last illuminating rays of light escape the clouds for a brief moment, making a stark contrast on every surface and startling my eyes before they slide beneath the Tantalus range to the west. That is my sign. I have been sitting in the cafe too long.
" We are treading water" I say to one of my partners as he slides into the seat across from me. I am staring wildly at him over the top of my laptop. "I am making calls, I am researching but we are going nowhere. We need to move on something but it feels like there is nothing I can do right now". He wraps his hands tightly around his coffee cup and lowers his eyes to meet mine. " It is going to happen. We just have to be patient".
Patience has never been something I am good at. When it comes to action, and progress and setting goals I am unstoppable. Not to toot my own horn, but that is what got me this far. I have spent the last 6 months educating myself on business and finances and the law just to own something that in reality strays so far from my life path in the last 4 years. I have done over 700 hours of research on the uncomfortable topics of economics that I had sworn off in university to explore all avenues that will allow me to live my dream. I have been so focused and dedicated that the apparent stagnation of our progress, this vacation from meetings and momentum, is the most terrifying struggle I am facing.
The veil of evening softens the light and reduces contrast in the cafe. I watch as people come and go, as if in waves conducted by an invisible caffeine tide. The steep green slopes that lead to echo lake devolve into a murky fog that reveals then obscures fragments of the landscape. I click on different windows within my computer screen; looking at drafts and proposals and necessary development documents and photos of places that hold hope for us. Nothing has stopped. Nothing is actually without motion. I too must remain active and present.
To wait, is to be patient. But patience is not a passive verb. In fact it is from the latin root " Pati". Passion is also derived from this same root. Mark Danielewski. The author the critically acclaimed novel, House of Leaves, writes that “Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.”
Suffering has a correlation with hope. Suffering, waiting passionately, involves believing that something will come. As I research the flowery and romantic interpretations of the task I have recently been charged with, I have realized that the exercise I must practice, is intent. Wait with intention, with hope and with observation. Patience is not idle.
As I sit here. I can admit honestly that I am uncomfortable with where we are right now. I am uncomfortable with the uncertainty of where I will be in a year. Not because I fear uncertainty but because I have for once thrown a lot of energy at one thing, and I am fearing failure.
Even as I write that my inner climber is kicking me. " HAVE I TAUGHT YOU NOTHING!" the fear of failure creates failings. You have to go for it. You have to plan appropriately and move with optimism. You have to take risks and above and beyond all, you have to take the necessary time to get to where you need to be. Maybe I am not ready yet. When we are ready... what we need will present itself to us.
I have to stay passionate.