Opening CreditsAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 00:24
DedicationAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 00:12
IntroductionAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 01:51
01_Pot of ClayAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 00:45
02_Struggle Against EvilAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 01:13
03_Coming of AgeAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 01:01
04_Striving for the RightAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 02:33
05_On First Apprehending the Vision of aAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 02:31
06_Vain ExertionAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 02:57
07_Something of ValueAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 02:48
08_Elegy for the FallenAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 01:30
09_On the Origin and Fate of Love and DeAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 02:00
10_Nocturnal AscentAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 02:25
11_Mountain of Our DreamsAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 01:48
12_Festering EmbittermentAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 01:13
13_Pain My TeacherAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 02:26
14_True GloryAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 01:56
15_On The Nature of ChallengeAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 03:25
16_On The Nature of SpeechAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 02:04
17_Lost RedemptionAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 01:12
18_Precarious Ice Climbing in Ouray's BoAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 02:19
19_Parlous TomorrowAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 01:17
20_Broken ThingAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 01:10
21_The Melody of the MountainsAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 01:27
22_Fated ConditionAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 01:14
23 Journey to the Extremity of the Mundane....Alan V. GoldmanAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 02:15
24 Toward Insight....Alan V. GoldmanAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 04:59
25 My Self Struggle...Alan V. GoldmanAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 01:18
26 Moment of Clarity...Alan V. GoldmanAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 03:12
27 Distant Shores...Alan V. GoldmanAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 01:43
28 Incident Report...Alan V. GoldmanAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 01:56

BONUS POEMS

Wild Structure

 By Alan V. Goldman

 

A boom, a crack, whoosh --

The echo of rolling thunder

Resonates inside my body;

All these are harbingers

 

Of the trembling, crushing

Naked power of the powdery

White death that flattens all

Before it, without discrimination,

 

And then transforms into

A sliding slurry that

Engulfs and swallows all

 

Hapless objects in its path

Before congealing into a

Cement-like sludge

 

Indiscriminately poured

Into an amorphous mold:

 

So, too, flow my uncorralled thoughts

Around, above, below, and through

The twisted paths inside my mind,

 

Into the liminal horizons

Lurking in-between the

Thoughts that careen about

The ill-defined boundaries

Barely structuring my ideas,

 

One from another, 'till

They merge into an amalgam

That has an internal coherence,

Not unlike the residue of an avalanche,

Existing for good or ill --

 

Its very being, however ill-formed,

Serving as its own rationale.

The Winds Speak

By Alan V. Goldman

Swirling about the silent slabs,

The mountain winds speak with

The ineffable wisdom borne of

Hearing the cries and confessions

Of all the lost and forgotten who

Regret having chosen a desultory path:

 

A way studded by fortuitous rewards gained through

Haphazard actions, not earned through merit,

But littered by random circumstances and serendipity.

 

O, how they yearn to have chosen the way

Of pursuing success by risking failure and

Exposure to peril in search of

Self-knowledge about the limits of frightful

Human endurance.

 

For in these climbers' defeats are untold glories

That far surpass any ignoble victories claimed by

Those who think they have found a plan to cheat fate.

And the winds continue to twirl about and about.

H

Paean to Being

By Alan V. Goldman

Slicing through the open sky
Your features give form to
Where there had been only
A devoid expanse without
Character or direction:

Vacant space no more,
Now imbued with design,
Further magnified by suffusion
With the purposeful intent imparted

To your skeletal features by
The climber's many storied travails.

O, if only your features could speak,
They would tell of the desperate
chances
Ventured on your extended flanks,
Imparting human meaning to your Otherwise silent stone.

So your framework has rescued us
from the
bleak environs by furnishing the mise-

en-scene
for climbers to act out their human
dramas
In the blank sky, no longer a desolate
void of
Airy nothingness, but the backdrop
for an active
Part of nature's being.

 

e

Trapped

By Alan V. Goldman

 

Sparkling splendors blinking in the night,

How can they know of our pitiful plight?

 

We cast our eyes upwards in search of solace,

But we know we're trapped out on the lip of this

Lengthy cornice.

 

One ponderous move backwards and we risked all

By triggering the overhanging, unsupported outcrop

Of compressed snow -- so delicate we now barely

Dared to crawl --

 

Frozen in fear lest our creeping cause a

Precipitous, fatal fall, and thus become our

Own springboard propelling us to the unknown

Other side.

 

So we crumpled in terror at our self-made

Predicament 'till we unashamedly cried.

 

Who could save us from our own poor judgment

In striding forward -- drenched in hubris -- drawn on

By the meretricious allure of a shimmering cornice

That stretched out into the blue sky?

 

A cornice that only now we knew it to be, and realized

Threatened to collapse underneath us, for by definition

It wasn't supported by the rock of the mountain such that

We would be mortally imperiled by the pressure of but one

Fateful step that could plunge us to our doom.

 

So we winced when we cast our eyes upwards, but

There was no refuge there:

 

Only inside us could there be the noble humility that

Would enable us, the mountain gods permitting, to

Enter that special space reserved for those who 

Undertake a search for redemption,

 

And were thus willing to wriggle backwards on their bellies --

Without any appeal to a self-serving, saving form of

Grace.

Despondency Challenged

by Alan V. Goldman

I sing a song of sullen sadness and woe

That bemoans my anguish, sorrow, and 

Long-forlorn grief, while I languish without

Relief from my rueful lament, tinged with

Regret that my sacrifices taint my triumphs, mar my achievements, and sap my hard-won glories of their latent consoling powers:

 

My grief always prevails in a putrescent sink of
"what ifs"-- for it festers as if in a stopped-up

Cesspool, never draining its overbearing melancholia

So as to fill all my emotions with a perpetual remorse,

Leaving me to marinate in a stew of self-reproach --

 

Except when I think once more on the sharp aspect of your brazenly insolent Northwest face, which smirks at my shortcomings,

And would blithely ridicule all my virulent tribulations, time after time, and then again;

 

Thus infuriating, arousing, and then

Summoning me to marshal all my being to try my fate once more, so as to silence forever your mute challenge:

Thus does eternal hope dispel the dreary gloom cast by your silent shadow --

    Hope that blinds one and all so as to mask           the true dimensions of your                                    treacherous routes;

    Hope that is said to spring eternal, like the            hope born of youth;

    Hope that I can meet my self-expectations            on your forbidding flanks while knowing              that these hopeful expectations can all be            dashed by one wave that despair

    weakens my resolve to test the limits of               your pity.

O, take pity on me and give me this one last chance to contribute something of value to The life of my mind, and to enable me to touch the inner life of others.

___________________________________________

29 Eye Of The Beholder...Alan V. GoldmanAlan V. Goldman
00:00 / 02:14

Striving for the Top

 By Alan V. Goldman

 

Alluring like a majestic throne,

Its imposing summit always tauntingly

Visible while climbing beneath

Its maze of pathways below;

 

I wondered at its singular situation --

Passively awaiting its conquerors,

While silently watching them evade

Or overcome its defenses: its castle-like

Moats or bergschrunds;

Its trap doors or hidden crevasses

Its crenalations or jagged rockwalls,

Which seem so like ramparts or battlements

Challenging only those who would dare,

To win, as the motto goes.

 

Win what? The satisfaction of sitting

In the throne -- a symbol of both physical

Mastery and psychological dominion.

Renewal

By Alan V. Goldman

Each time I review

The massive wall anew

Rejuvenation does ensue

While my spirit can pursue

All that is within my purview.

 

And what does my demesne encompass?

Is it all that I can possess?

Or only that which I can bless

By my having duly venerated it

Through subjecting myself to its fickle whims,

 

Thereby renewing my right to occupy its

Throne without having desecrated it.

 

Likewise, I have thus not denigrated

My own sphere of action that

I have so carefully aggregated

 

By not having deviously manipulated

My unalienable right to explore

My own view of happiness.

 

And this is the essence

Of the spirit of effervescence

That animates my quest

For the essay that will

Manifest the path to all seekers

after the Freedom of the Hills.

Into the Realm of the Mountain Gods

By Alan V. Goldman

Insolent, you self-exculpate yourself by having to furnish no alibi,

For you are always "there" -- a presence looming above underlings

Who scrape at the sky when they brazenly dare to seek your summit;

 

Little do they know that they are entering a different realm of being or reality

Where one's mind is captured by dwelling in the space of abstract ideas:

The very concept of a summit corrupts the life of their mind by not having

Given fair warning that they are trespassing into the plane of perfection,

 

Of archetypal representations of a perfection that doesn't exist on earth,

And are not meant to be comprehended by mortals whose very presence was not

Foreseen in this wilderness devoid of sentient beings, nor welcome in this

Parnassus of poetic composition.

 

Disappointment at failure to gain the summit is so easily transposed into

Self-castigation for "failure" to achieve mundane goals that are so trivial

In the grand scheme of things that climbing should not be undertaken with

Any expectation of success; indeed, it is the very uncertainty of the outcome

That is the draw of adventure, which must unfold in its own fashion.

 

And the concept of ideal perfection in the mountain realm, existing only outside the mind, remains pristine.

Enduring Love and The Human Condition

By Alan V. Goldman

 

Why do you arouse me with nothing more than the crossing of your legs?

 

Why do you provoke me with nothing more than the sotte voce purr of your throat?

 

Why do you spur me to a feverish pitch with nothing more than the sway of your hips to and fro?

 

How can I fail to alert you to my impulsive urge to lurch for your stimulating figure?

 

And how can I suppress my urgent attraction to your form without alerting your attention to my ceaseless longing,

 

As I also furtively struggled to conceal my would-be innocent, but deceitful glance at the dance floor -- without being caught in the very act of doing so?

 

---------------------------------------------------------------

 

Only by cultivating some genuine familiarity on the basis of shared interests

That might deactivate your finely-tuned protective radar, which otherwise would

Unmask the course of my campaign driven by my over-heated vision of your pulsating sway?

 

It's sometimes said that relationships founded on a shared intense experience,

E.g., of a mutual danger [like an accident on a mountain], don't survive the "test of time," but shrivel as the shock of

The shared trauma, without more, inevitably  recedes into oblivion.

 

If that's so, then how much less can a relationship founded merely on some shared

Abstract or vicarious experience of imagined intensity survive, where one based on an actual,

Disastrous life-event inevitably retreats into the recesses of memory?

 

So a lasting relationship must be based not only on superficial attraction, for as we

All have heard, "beauty fades" -- but love must also be based on some shared sense of enduring values

That will ultimately outlast the heat of passion.

The Power of Attraction

by Alan V. Goldman

Like a monstrous ogre, you would seem to reject all suitors who brazenly dare

To scale your ramparts without displaying due deference to your imposing bulk;

 

Yet climbers still flock to your faces, ridges, snow fields, and narrow couloirs without invitation, 

Knowing full well the penalty for failure may be the  termination of their relationship with you.

 

Maybe in another ten years?

 

By then your silent power of attraction, like a force-in-being, may have even faded a bit so that I may

Prosecute my campaign to conquer your heights without being overwhelmed and daunted by the grip of your majesty;

 

Unfortunately, though, a mountain's time is reckoned on a different scale than that of a human being's; moreover,

 

Your gravitational-like pull on all who fall within the path of your orbit dissipates as one draws further and further away from your form.

 

Yet when one is subject to your full puissance, your draw is like that of a nubile woman whose beckoning scent potently wafts through the air around her inviting shape -- and it is then that you exert your special "come-hither" quality of attraction that lures every climber to test his mettle.

 

In this manner, the power of attraction mentally outlasts even the decay of age,

So that everyone can entertain thoughts of struggle and conquest no matter the reality of the situation at hand.