The Man and the Mountain

The man stands before the mountain that mocked the boy.

The mountain has not changed–but the boy has.

There’s grey in his hair now; like the cold, far-off glinting of stars.

There is a certain weariness about the way he stands.

There is a certain determination in his dark eyes.

The boy once stood in this imaginary place.

This no-place except a place to see a mountain.

And the mountain mocked the boy. And the mountain said:

“Can you climb the mountain?”

As though a mountain could talk.

In the years that have passed the boy/man has not moved an inch.

He stands in the same spot, he looks at the same mountain.

But it is different now: the mountain no longer mocks him.

In his youth the mountain brought him here.

Now the man brings the mountain to him.

The mountain is imaginary–he does not need to climb it.

If he wishes, he may make himself taller than the mountain and merely step over it.

And so the mountain does not ask:

“Can you climb the mountain?”

The boy has outgrown the question.

This post was originally published as “30082021”.