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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


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

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.



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
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-

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




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



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.



My Shadow and Me

by Alan V. Goldman


O Shadow across my horizon casting qualms about my venture,

Why do you so loom over me with such a heavy burden

Such that I cannot escape unscathed, but must be filled with self-doubts --

Regardless of either their palpable reality, or merely being the trepidation of my feverish, overtaxed brain questioning the wisdom of my endeavor.


So I step off into an unknown realm populated chiefly with ghosts

Without the assurance born of certainty, but knowing that I would not have

Ventured forth at all had I known the outcome in advance: indeed, I revel in the

Very uncertainty of my adventure's destiny, and convert my fears into a special

Fortitude that certitude would dissolve, depriving me of the exhilaration

That accompanies the discovery of my limits.


I chose to climb with all my faculties and fears intact, in anticipation of what's to come or not. In any event, I will have faced my capacity to sustain, even thrive, on the unknowable outcome of a game not rigged in advance, and where

My parents can't "be there" to protect me and salve my wounded pride.


Thus I confront my inner fears of defeat merely by daring myself to face them, alone. Only in this fashion can I grow, and develop my self-assurance in the face of an uncaring, but neutral forum in which to fail and fall.


Without thus proceeding into an unknown expanse, I can never learn to endure my shadow, my doppelganger, who forever dogs me: for it had been I myself all along who had loomed over me with such a heavy burden, and with such a challenge to meet my fate on fate's own terms.


Progression Toward the Far Distant Unknown

by Alan V. Goldman

I trudged, step after step, in a monotonous regimentation; then I made

A so-called "dynamic" move -- a kind of kinetic lunge that propelled me into a spot that I couldn't have reached without having let go of all my carefully

Placed protection, thus yielding to the propulsive impetus of momentum to carry me toward my desired position. 


In this insidious way, my climb proceeded in unnaturally regular slow-motion,

Punctuated by fits and starts, by slumps and booms, of unnaturally irregular

Motion that added spice to my persistent, unwavering efforts that otherwise

Would have led me into a trance-like condition of inwardly listless inertia, so

That each time I took another step, I would have become all-the-more enwrapped in a languorous Indolence that would have caused a self-induced state of mentally detached progression,

Locked inside a microcosm, and not driven by thoughts of hurriedly getting from point "A" to point "B," as we naturally operate.


Curiously, this state of mind inevitably does lead me -- almost helplessly onward (not unlike a sleepwalker) -- to reach that-seemingly hopelessly remote Point "B," the summit, and to an unknown fate beyond.

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.



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.


In Search of One's Private Peace of Mind

by Alan V. Goldman


As I viewed your imposing bulk, my stomach began to shiver;

As I scanned your stark features, I accepted your challenge, however bitter;

For I resolved that your craggy appearance was not going to make me a quitter;

Au contraire, for I could conceive of no end that could possibly be fitter.


Even more, I realized that I would not respect you if you were just a snow dome;

Nor could I respect my endeavor to surmount you as anything but a sign of some banal, empty syndrome

If you proved an unworthy antagonist, fit for nothing but residing in your home,

Overlooked by Seekers for some transformative moment of wisdom.


Thus, I persevere in penetrating your narrow, sharp series of spires,

Because I feel they might reveal something hidden about the world, or me -- while I hang precariously on my complex web of wires;

Trusting implicitly that you are incapable of guile, and exude enlightenment that only inspires

Me to plunge ever onward in search of my own, fictive Dulcinea who forever strums alluringly on her lyre.

Reflections on the Human Condition
by Alan V. Goldman


The very intensity of my feelings forms

An ineradicable part of the creative process, which itself drives the volatility of my moods.


I am tossed about by a mortal storm that floods my emotions, and then, after the winds abate, my sails are left to luff in the spiritual doldrums.


Still, I feel that, once again, my creative processes are gathering to permit me to resume engaging in that most human

Endeavor of exhibiting the ability to love and to hate as being the most emotive of expressions unique to the human species in both their nature and quality.


Keeping up the Pace

by Alan V. Goldman


Muffled footsteps crunch delicately in the freshly frozen snow;

I gingerly follow in the footsteps of my leader, stretching to plant

My feet in the tracks he's made ahead of me so as not to duplicate

Effort by breaking new trail; yet the length of my gait is not as lanky

As his so that I continually fall just short of his already sunken path,

Making my way a stressful struggle "to keep up" with the leader's pace by treading in his footsteps,


Or else fall behind, out of synchronicity with his tempo, thereby testing

His patience in having frequently to hold back on account of me, thus

Arresting his natural rhythm and straining his patience at the tyro


Lagging behind him, and also log-jamming the line of trekkers behind him -- all strung out affixed to the guide's lead rope, and disrupting their almost haptic sense of intimacy with that communal bond as the rope randomly develops either slack or tension,


Reducing their rhythm to an erratic staccato of stop-and-start movements, trying their patience with my ungainly, lumbering, jerky steps leading to nowhere, slowly.

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