The plane flies across the subcontinent and I snap a picture out the window.
“Squint a little and look beyond the clouds. Do you see it? That is the top of Mt Everest. Have you ever seen it before?”
“No. But I will one day. For now, your eyes are mine eyes.”
Can you smell the damp woods that surround me?
Can you hear the river rushing past to on right, just below the cliffs?
Can you feel the sun through the sunscreen, making me tanner and leaner?
In between every fold of the mountains, snow melts into ice-cold waterfalls, tumbling forth, finding their way down to the river.
I set my heartbeat to a live acoustic performance by Pearl Jam (Live at Benaroya Hall). Eddie Vedder and the band are the only men I’ve invited to join me on this trek. His presence does not taint the solitude - it compliments it. On and on we trek, the valley below, the mountains ahead. Life gets really simple. Sleep. Walk. Sleep. Walk. At first light, there is a clear view of Annapurna II. Can you see what I see? The snow capped peaks and the ground fog rising? I will lend you my eyes but you can’t feel the way Eddie’s baritone echoes in my heart, syncopated with each breath, each step.
I wish for you to know – except – I want to keep this moment for myself just the same.