Climber [redux]

Above me the moon watches over another sleepless night. Its ghostly splendor an immutable backdrop against which the turmoil of my life plays out in stark contrast. Reveling in that wonder, I lift my hands into the night sky.

I am Babel. My height is without measure. The span of my outstretched arms is like unto that of the heavens themselves. Stardust spills from my palms as I reach out and pluck the moon from its perch.

Alas, this is a lie, for though I lift my hands a thousand times and close them around that light, the thing will always slip through my fingers. Though I may use my hands to measure the distance of the universe, when I try to measure myself against that unfathomable expanse, I am unable. My own insignificance does not escape me.

I cannot bring the moon to me, so instead I climb. If I could reach the moon, in all its glory, I would sit upon it. Reclined against the gentle curve of its crescent I would find the peace that has always eluded me here.

This too is a lie, for the moon’s crescent is not a chair for me to sit on. It is a scimitar, a razor’s edge, and it will slice through me, just as it always does. Just as it always has. Why then do I strive to reach it? I put this question from my mind, and keep climbing.

There are bones along the way. Pieces of me litter the ground, remnants of the countless times I’ve come this way only to be cut, to fall, to break. Every broken piece is a signpost, warning me not to go where I have already been. I never heed these warnings, these pieces of myself that I have lost along the way. How many times can a man be divided against himself before he fails to recognize his flesh as his own?

Ceaselessly I climb, striving to rise above the worries of this terrestrial plane. The height of my ascent is the measure of my life’s journey.

The higher I climb the colder it grows. The clouds thicken and snow begins to swirl about me, blinding my vision. Handholds turn to ice. Its cold pierces me like a knife until I can no longer feel anything. With the onset of numbness, the ice becomes the blade upon which scars are born.

Drops of blood begin to drip beneath me. At the bottom they splash and stain the ground, and still I feel nothing. Even when I begin to come apart, when my body is no longer whole, I am oblivious to the destruction of all that is me. My only thought is of reaching my destination, there is no room for anything else.

Tired and torn, the remains of the man I was fall back to earth and are dashed upon the rocks. A million broken fragments to add to the wreckage of my hubris already littering the ground. Together they tell the eternal tale of my folly, silent witnesses warning me again, that even dreams have consequences.

Another warning I shall ignore as I follow, once more, my own footprints up the hill. On my way to shatter again

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