“…after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” – Nelson Mandela
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot
I have had Sir Edmund Hillary’s words resonating in my mind over the past few months. “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” Isn’t it funny how mountains are always metaphors for the human journey? On its surface, Patrick Meyers’ K2 appears to be a simple story about mountain climbing: two friends summit the second highest mountain in the world. However, at its heart, K2 is much more than that. It is an allegory about the human condition and how we choose to handle the challenges that we encounter in our everyday lives. As the character Harold states, “Mountains are… the purest, simplest metaphors on this whole crazy planet. The higher you go the deeper you get… and when you can’t run away from where the hell you are… then guess what? You have to be there!”
We may not climb literal mountains every day, but we do still face our own mountains or seemingly insurmountable challenges. Personal, professional, local, global, economic, political, social – the list of trials that we encounter daily is endless, and while some of them are entirely unavoidable and out of our control, others are self-imposed. Few of us may ever face as tough a gauntlet as conquering K2, the second highest mountain in the world, but most of us do indeed set obstacles or smaller K2s for ourselves along life’s journey.
And so, dear theatregoer, as you watch this performance, I ask you: what’s your K2? Is it a personal goal that you’ve been yearning to accomplish but have been putting off? Is it a professional benchmark that you’ve been desiring to reach but haven’t done so yet? Is it a cause you’ve been wishing to champion but haven’t found the time? Is it an injustice that you’ve been wanting to right but were afraid to do so?
Remember, we all have our own K2s, our own figurative mountains that loom large above us like unconquerable peaks; it is how we choose to deal with them that allows us to grow and progress as humans. We can choose to settle on the easier trek because it has fewer risks. We can choose to succumb to the avalanche created by our fears and doubts and retreat to safety. Or we can choose to face our K2s head-on and tackle the difficult expedition to the summit, regardless of the sacrifices or rewards. And no matter where your challenges may be, whether they be on a mountain or in real life, ultimately, you will still need to approach them in the same manner that one climbs a mountain - one step at a time.
Enjoy the show!