Looky There

In my all-too-rare dealings with important people, I've noticed that they seem to care about more things than I do but they don't seem to care about anything as much as I care about the things I deal with. It comes with the territory, I understand - the inevitable broadening of interests that goes along with getting a larger scope on the world. I'm not saying it's bad or good; just trying to make some sense of it.

The image that forms in my mind is this: a mountain, sparsely covered with people. At the bottom there are teeming throngs, hoeing the earth and siphoning groundwater or whatever they need to do. They look down at the ground below them, because it supports them. Above them are the people living within the little forest encircling the mountain, and they gather berries and nuts throughout the day, focusing on the next stand of evergreens over past the next clearing. There are a little fewer of these people than there were of the earth-hoers.

Moving up the hill, you find the climbers, a smaller group yet, and they're pleased to have made it up past the berrypicker riffraff, splitting their days between venturing a few feet further up the rock face in search of a good handhold and reflecting down the mountainside, commenting to one another how small the people at the bottom look from here and how unfortunate that must be for them. Visibility from this altitude is still limited, not by the trees or the fellow men, neither of which are very dense up here, but by the clouds forming a foggy ring around the mountain. Stupid clouds. The only place where you can see out past them is...

The top. Here one person stands, awestruck and lonesome. Whether he or she was born or carried here, or thrust here by sheer willpower, this person can see everything. The climbers, the pickers, and the farmers. And, off in the distance, that most unimaginable certainty - other mountains.

It's not the most original metaphor, but I'm sticking to it for a while. I think it'll help me out, somehow, this silly little expressed idea. Silly little ideas are the main thing that's ever helped me out in my life so far, so as far as I'm concerned that's it. It's not like I can see beyond this anyway.

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