By Beau Flemister
We get to the peak and keep following the trail toward the end of the cliff and as we walk, a swarm of giant dragonflies encircle us, spinning over our heads curiously like chaperons. There must be hundreds of them and we sit down to marvel at this odd sight, listening to their drone. After maybe a minute of no word between us, I break the silence and utter, “How many times per second do you think a dragonfly flaps its wings?”
A stony thought, sure, but Elvis smiles still watching the small dragons and says, “That’s just about the purest thought someone could have in this moment.”
And yet. Sopping wet, he returns to the cliff, choosing a new line, nimbly scaling the wall with a seemingly inhuman proficiency. Not that we should be surprised or anything. This same photojournalist dirtbag-vagabond has summited peaks in Chilean Patagonia that no man ever has, literally christening routes he’d created. Just days prior, we’d seen this same vagabond climb rock faces outside the business district so high, he was looking down upon the skyscrapers like a smiling demigod. Perhaps to climb, to reach, to look upward toward the stars is actually the most human of qualities. To build temples and towers that pierce the clouds. To rise higher toward the heavens. To cling precariously to life, flexing every muscle in our being while climbing...up.
BEST AMPHIBIOUS SHORT FOR AN UNPREDICTABLE JOURNEYThe "Explorer" Short