Saturday, May 22, 2010

The kid at the top of the world - almost!

I am on pins and needles on behalf of 13-year-old Jordan Romero, actually nervous, and excited at the same time. Romero is the kid (a term I used advisedly) who is climbing Mt. Everest, something the would-be Nanny's are upset about. He's climbing with his father and his step-mother, and all three are experienced climbers.

It is now morning on the mountain and Team Jordan, as they call themselves, left Camp 2, which was at the altitude of 24,750 feet. They resumed their climb and stopped for tea and to make a phone call (isn't technology wonderful). They report that everything is going very well and that Jordan is strong and ready to move on. They report that they are ahead of schedule. They were last reported at the location known as Step 1, at 27,890 feet. , this means it is 1,185 feet to the summit. Update: Latest word I got from Team Jordan is that they are approaching the summit right now! As best as I can tell he is only a few hundred feet from summiting.

They reported that clouds on the mountain had cleared and they could see all the way to the summit. Their goal is within view. They are so confident that are seriously considering the summit today. Just writing that moves me emotionally. I some seeing dreams accomplished, even when they are the dreams of others.

I'm doing the atheist form of praying, which means thinking of someone and wishing the best for them. I want Jordan to have his dream. It reminds me of something that Ayn Rand emphasized in her novels, the achievement of dreams, the possibilities that make life exciting and inspiring.

In her semi-autobiographical novel We the Living, the main character, Kira, has been trying to escape the Soviet Union for the West. As the novel draws to a close Kira is trying to cross the border illegally. Hiding from border guards, who keep people in, she is mistaken for a rabbit and a guard shoots at her, htting her. She lies on the hillside dying and she smiles while thinking:

“She smiled. She knew she was dying. But it didn’t matter any longer. She had known something which no human words could ever tell and she knew it now. She had been awaiting it and she felt it, as if it had been, as if she had lived it. Life had been, if only because she had known it could be, and she felt it now as a hymn without sound, deep under the little hole that dripped red drops into the snow, deeper than that from which the red drops came. A moment or an eternity—did it matter? Life, undefeated, existed and could exist. “She smiled, her last smile, to so much that had been possible.”

Jordan's dream is like that, life, undefeated, exisited and could exist. It is the joy of the possible. That is why I want him to do it, I would almost say I pray for him to do it, but there is no one to hear the prayers. I rely upon Jordan's only ability and desire to reach his dream. And, if I'm a judge of human character at all, I suspect that when he reaches the summit that not only will I be crying with joy, but so will he.

Please check back. I will be watching the GPS coordinates to see when the summit is reach. And we offer a toast to Jordan and to life undefeated and to all that is possible. Thank you, Jordan.