The title of this post is not original. It is from an article I recently read in Outside Magazine. The article addresses the writer’s initial need to meet physical goals, particularly as they pertained to climbing a specific mountain, doing all the 14ers, or finishing a long-distance trail. And in fact, the writer was quite successful in achieving those goals. But his observation was that there was something else that was indicative of obtaining those goals…and that was what he missed, taking the time to soak in the moment, to observe, in detail, the amazing surroundings in which he found himself. That’s when he learned to climb Mount Nothing.
Not a day goes by, that I am not reminded by some coach of how I am failing to meet my goals as an artist in business. Truly I understand the necessity to keep at it in order to make a money out of this beautiful thing we call art (and in particular for me, story). They consistently remind me of how I am failing myself as an artist in business. And they are right. And I am in awe of those who somehow manage to keep at it, resulting in more successes than I. But I, for one, grow weary of pushing, and yearn for the moments that gave birth to the passion to begin with…the love of and performance of story, and more so those moments that grew out of serendipity and as we often say in story, the element of surprise.
So that’s what I did this past year. I climbed Mount Nothing. I (at least temporarily) walked away from the business of storytelling (the constant marketing, posting on Instagram, responding to LinkedIn) and focused on what it was like to be a storyteller in a more organic way, by gathering more stories through the art of truly living, through taking the time to observe my environment, by picking up books that interested me (rather than those I should read) …. all to stir into the collective pot that is my life story.
The descent from Mount Nothing was full of memories and surprises, including exploration of another passion of mine….music….and making more meaningful connections with old friends while seeking out new friends, some travel to and from interesting places and people, as well as tending to (surprise!) hand surgery from a bacterial infection resulting in hospitalization (I align the latter to the muscle and joint aches and pains you might get from cresting a mountain).
So, if you’re a potential producer, school librarian, or educator, you might not have heard from me in a while. And that’s not because I’ve lost interest, but rather it was time to breathe in the air and open my eyes in the world I found myself, and to do so with the intent of having zero results from the experience…other than to enjoy! Climbing Mount Nothing has its rewards….to quote T.S. Eliot, “We shall not cease from exploring, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
Hoping to cross paths with you in the upcoming year, whether digitally or live. For more information, go to https://www.embodiedvoicestoryarts.com/performances-workshops-and-residencies/