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Where is "up there"

In former times, up there really meant "above everything". Really high up, Sargarmatha, Olympos and so on. Spirits, Gods, Yeti. Another space. Difficult to get to or "no trespassing". Detached dream destinations for longing venturers.
A little bit further down there was also an "above everything". The bell tower of the local church, the snowfield on the Grimming, the wine bottle hanging on the maypole. Benchmarks for young dreamers with a first boldness.

Every stone "above everything" has been climbed upon. The Olymp is a hiking mountain, the snow field has melted, the church clocks have been digitalized. The Sargarmatha is now called Everest and has been degraded to an alpine brothel enterprise. Some day someone will cross it in roller blades.

"Above everything" is no longer a vertical category. After all, Jacques Piccard defined it the other way round: with his ride 10.916 metre down into the Mariana Trench he proved, how one can get "up there" because one reached such a depth beforehand. The peak of the Everest is located approximately 19,7 km higher. With their achievements, Piccard and Hillary have linked the vertical extreme poles of our earth.

"Because it's there", used to be the sense-giving motif for mountain ascents or all kinds of diving manoeuvers- but this has become outdated.

The term "above everything" has rid itself of any spatiality and has taken on different shapes. It is no longer a place, but a feeling. It is our duty to handle feelings and situations carefully, before we label them with the term "above everything". And all this, without oxygen bottles.

Every year, the Namibian spadefood toad feels as if it is "above everything" although it is deep down in the earth, when it reaches the humid sand layers that are essential for its survival.

We would also feel the same, if we survived the attack of a grizzly or when we simply managed to make a fellow human being smile. When we occasionally confirm our being here with an inner shout of joy, whilst also embracing its finite nature, since afterlife is so uncertain. When we fill the years with life instead of just filling it with years.

"Above everything" is a place where one is at peace with oneself. Of course, this can also happen on Everest.

Frido Hütter is editor of the department "Kultur & Medien" in the newspaper KLEINE ZEITUNG; Up until now he has travelled approximately 60 countries on earth.