I want to move nearer to the mountain.
Not literally. In fact on a literal level I'm moving AWAY from the mountain to sea level, as you'll know if you read my blog entry on our decision to move into a chiswick boat…
(I'm a massive Neil Gaiman fan. For me he symbolises my time at university when saturdays were spent counting pennies and strolling up the Cowley Road to the comic shop to see if there was a new issue of Sandman.)
So in this talk, Gaiman articulated something which I've felt before… that in deciding what various paths to go down in life, which doors to open, which crossroads to pause at, we should think which route moves us nearer to the mountain.
What's the mountain in this metaphor you ask? The mountain is your goal. So for Neil Gaiman the mountain was being a writer of stories.
What's your mountain?
Myself, I have many mountains. I wrote about this recently when I wrote about how I was many people.. that my blog had no one niche, because I was like a butterfuly zooming from life to life in the space of a day.
Also, there are so many fake mountains. A bit like tempting roads that lead you to false goals.
So one of my fake mountains is to be a comms expert. Why? Because I love my job and I'm good at it. But why do I want the job? Because it uses my skills yes, but also because (and here is the uncomfortable rub), because it earns me money.
Now earning money is a great path to the mountain, don't get me wong. You can't follow your dreams without a few pounds in your pocket. The artist starving in the garret is no happier than the artist living in the South of France painting landscapes which sell in a local gallery (allowing him to write comics in the evenings).
But I want to make money to support my family, for us be safe, secure and happy. Why? So I can follow my dream. Which depending on which way the wind is blowing, phases of the moon, whether there's an r in the month etc, could be a dream of being an actress, a writer, a nomadic traveller or a stay at home Martha Stewart.
Now when you're a mother your dreams take on a strange quality. Because what is every mother's real dream? To have healthy, happy children of course. So perhaps women and mothers need an extra special additional mountain to contain that dream.
And to be honest – that is the most important dream of all!
What's your mountain?