Kiipeily, Matkat

Tunne niin paljon, että tiedät eläväsi

Julkaistu: 16.11.2015

Kolme ensimmäistä aamua Thakhekin kiipeilyleirissä ovat tuskaa. Jalkaterät, varpaat, kädet ja sormet eivät ymmärrä, mitä niille tapahtuu. Verenpaine tykyttää sormissa, jotka ovat riekaileina happosateiden teroittamista kivistä. Selkää särkee. Jännitän joka päivän kiipeilyjä niin paljon, että vatsaan sattuu.  Mutta pakotan itseni ylös.

Neljäntenä aamuna herään ennen herätyskelloa lintujen lauluun. Aurinko paistaa harvan mökin seinien välistä. Ei satu, ainakaan ihan yhtä paljon kuin aikaisemmin. Yhtäkkiä tunnen, että kallioseinä on kanssani samalla puolella. Pisteet päässäni yhdistyvät ja alan ymmärtää, mistä tässä lajissa on kyse.

Seuraavina päivinä kiipeily asettuu omaan lokeroonsa. Kuin koira, joka aikansa myllättyään saa aikaiseksi huopaan sopivan kuopan, myös kiipeily joutuu hieman runnomaan itseään ennen kuin se solahtaa osaksi sitä, mitä olen. Samalla tajuan, että minun olisi pitänyt kiivetä aina. Minun olisi pitänyt kiivetä enemmän. Se tuntuu luonnollisemmalta kuin moni muu asia pitkään aikaan.

Mainos, sisältö jatkuu alla
Mainos, sisältö jatkuu alla

Haastan itseäni lisää. Ote toisensa jälkeen sormet ja varpaat tottelevat kiltisti. Huomaan, että sormissani on enemmän voimaa kuin olisin ikinä uskonut.

From the top left corner: Denise, Tree Lounge | Martin, Schnecke | Thomas, Partymeile | me, Weisse Wand | Emiel, Cave | Raymond, Tree Lounge

Viimeinen iltani leirissä tulee liian pian. Istun bambuterassilla vapaaseen pöytään. Pikkuhiljaa ihmisiä, vanhoja kiipeilijöitä, jotka ovat olleet leirissä kauan, saapuu paikalle, ja moni heistä valitsee minun pöytäni. Minun on vaikea ymmärtää tätä: ihanko oikeasti nämä kaikki ihmiset haluavat istua juuri minun pöytääni, minun seuraani?

Taivas ympärillä tummuu. Tähdet syttyvät. Keskustelut ajautuvat syvemmille urille. Moni meistä on samalla matkalla: tauolla virallisesta elämästä, miettimässä, pitääkö sinne palata, haluaako palata tai osaako palata.

Lopulta sammutamme valot ravintolasta ja palaamme leiriin. Päätän mennä vielä uimaan läheisen luolan läpi virtaavassa joessa. Makaan selälläni joen rannassa ja tuijotan tähtiä. Kaskaat sirittävät. En tiedä sitä vielä, mutta kolmen tunnin päästä aseistautuneet terroristit hyökkäävät Pariisiin.

Happiness and war, under the same stars.

Kiipeämme aamun sarastaessa vielä yhden reitin. Edellisen illan läksiäiset tuntuvat kropassa, mutta kiipeäminen on kevyttä. Halailen mennessäni isoja pyöreitä pylväitä, joita happosateet muodostavat kallioon.Aamiaisen jälkeen pakkaan reppuni. Hyvästelen ihmiset, vaikka en haluaisi. On kummallista, miten niin lyhyessä ajassa voi kiintyä ihmisiin, jotka on vasta tavannut. Ehkä se johtuu siitä, että kaikki ovat leirissä tekemässä asioita, jotka tekevät heidät onnellisiksi. Ehkä siitä, että joka päivä seisomme vuorotellen köyden eri päissä luottaen ihmiselämän verran juuri tähän toiseen ihmiseen.

My first ”doublepitch” on the last morning at the camp.

Leiri jää selkäni taakse, minä lähden, mutta mieli viivyttelee. Päätän aloittaa matkan liftaamalla, sillä tarvitsen muuta ajateltavaa. Sydän hakkaa, kun heilautan kättäni ensi kertaa tien varressa. Siitä on aikaa kun olen viimeksi liftannut.

Siinä minä seison, 31 vuotta, tukka takussa, sääret mustelmilla, kurainen reppu jalkojen juuressa, laosilaisen maantien penkalla. Juuri siinä hetkessä olen niin onnellinen, että sattuu.

Ohi ajaa yksi, kaksi, kolme autoa. Neljäs auto pysähtyy. Heitän repun takapenkille ja kiipeän kyytiin. Kuulen, mitä Pariisissa parhaillaan tapahtuu. Ei. Ei.

Haluan hypätä pois kyydistä, en halua takaisin maailmaan, haluan turvalliseen leiriin, jonne nämä uutiset eivät yletä. Mutta matka jatkuu. Avoimesta ikkunasta virtaava ilma osuu kasvoihin ja heiluttelee hiuksia. Ehkä se on itsekästä, mutta päätän pitää onnensäikeestäni kiinni, tuntea täysillä surun ja ilon, tuntea niin paljon että tiedän eläväni.

// To feel so much that you know you are alive

The three first morning at the climbing camp are painful. My feet, toes, arms and fingers are sore from climbing on the sharp rocks. I am a bit afraid what the day will bring along. Do I still know how to climb and do people still want to climb with me? But every morning I force myself up.

On the fourth morning I wake up before the alarm goes off. I hear the birds sing and see the sun shining through the bungalow walls. My muscles don’t hurt, at least not as much as before. I start to understand what it is all about.

During the next days, climbing becomes more natural. In fact, it feels more natural than anything I have done in a long time. I realize I should have had climbed always. I should have had climbed more. So I challenge myself. My toes and fingers do what I tell them to do. I notice I have more power in my hands than I would have ever believed.

My last night at the camp comes way too fast. I see all the people I have become friends with, we chat, it gets dark and the stars come up. Many of us are on the same journey: having a break from our official lives, wondering, if there is ever need to go back.

Finally we turn the lights off at the restaurant and walk back to the camp. I decide to take one more swim in the river that runs in a nearby cave. I lay on my back on the river bank and watch the stars. I don’t know that yet but in three hours armed terrorists will start their attack on Paris.

We climb one more route in the morning sun. I haven’t got much sleep but it doesn’t seem to matter. Climbing feels light. After breakfast I pack my pack and say goodbye to everyone even though I don’t want to. It is weird how much you can attach to people in such a short time.

I leave the camp behind my back but my mind is still in climbing. I start the journey hitchhiking which is good because I need something else to think about. My heart beats when I wave my hand towards the first car on the road. It has been a while since I last hitchhiked. In fact, 7 years. What did I do in the mean time? Try to start an adult life as you are supposed to do in your thirties?

There I stand on a country road in Laos, 31 years, my hair tangled, legs full of bruises an a dusty backpack at my feet. At the very moment I am so happy that it almost hurts.

Three cars pass me by. The fourth car stops. I throw my backpack on the backseat and climb in. I get to hear what is going on in Paris. No. No. I want to hop off, I don’t want to go back to the world, I want to return to the climbing camp which these news can’t truly reach. But the car goes on. The window is open and the flowing air grabs my hair. Be it selfish but I decide to hold on to my string of happiness, feel the sadness, feel the joy, feel so much that I’ll know I am alive.

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