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Aetheist, Rationalist, Believer

Climbing up Hyalite this beautiful December day with friends Geoff Heath and Carlos Buhler. Geoff an accomplished all-rounder; Carlos, world class. Me a “recreationalist” who has had the good fortune to know these guys and tag along. I haven’t been out much these past few years and feeling the effects of age sixty. They cruise “Dribbles” while I hack my way up and manage to peel off the steep second pitch. Thanks for the catch Carlos.

Senses awakened, my hungry rat “fed”, we get a little philosophical on the drive home. Somehow the conversation segues into “what happens when we die?”. Geoff (the aetheist): “lights out man, game over”. Kind of like having general anesthesia except you don’t get to wake up. Existential. Carlos: “I’m an intellectual aetheist and a spritual believer”. Does that make you an agnostic Carlos?

Me: Well, I relate the time in Boulder, so many years ago as a rookie carpenter. Sheeting off a roof in a t-shirt on a brilliant January day. Gazing along the foothills up towards Lyons. A sublime wave swept over me permeating every cell of my being. I was truly at ONE and I understood. It came, it went after about a minute, and it left me with a huge shit-eating grin on my face.

I believe. “Climbing… climb on”.

–Ken Ryder, Bozeman, MT