The Endless Knot Begins

I believe in symbols. The Endless Knot is a captivating image that illustrates a guiding principle of the Joy Trip Project. Everything is connected and united into a dynamic whole of infinite possibilities. As an expression of art I hope to share my vision of the Endless Knot to raise funding for an upcoming project.

I’ve been invited to take part in a historic climb to put the first all-African-American team on the summit of Mount Denali. As one of the few people of color working in the outdoor industry issues of diversity are naturally important to me. And I believe that it’s time for me to help demonstrate the value of bringing a more diverse audience of participants into the sport of climbing as well as the community of wilderness conservation.

Working with the National Outdoor Leadership School I’m now training to reestablish my mountaineering skills. And over the next several months I’ll devote a great deal of my writing talent to develop stories derived from my personal experience as I prepare for this climb. I’ll write about the backgrounds of the other participants and the many topics that surround people of color and their relationship with the natural world. I’ll also create each week a new stained glass Endless Knot to help mark my progress over more than 52 weeks until we journey to Denali in the spring of 2013.

In order to raise the funds I’ll need to make this project possible a new Endless Knot will be available for purchase on eBay with an opening bid of $150. Supporters of this project can help by paying as much as they can above the opening price and share their enthusiasm with friends and colleagues who might like to bid as well in the weeks that follow. The first Knot in the series “Stained Glass Endless Knot 001” can be found online. Visit:

Constructed of stained glass and lead solder polished to a silvery sheen each knot is a unique handmade work of art. Measuring 9″ high by 7″ wide the ornament is designed to hang in a well-lit outward facing window.

In Buddhism the Endless Knot signifies the dramatic interaction of the opposing forces in the dualistic world of manifestation, leading to their union, and ultimately to harmony in the universe. The intertwining of lines represents how all phenomena are conjoined and yoked together as a closed cycle of cause and effect. Thus the whole composition is a pattern that is closed in on itself with no gaps, leading to a representational form of great simplicity and fully balanced harmony.

The Endless Knot is a well-recognized symbol in the mountaineering community. I believe that it represents the life balance that climbers must cultivate in their personal, professional and spiritual lives in order to peacefully contend with the challenges of nature and their own internal conflicts. It’s this balance that I aim to achieve in my own life and as this adventure begins I hope that others can share in the many lessons I’m sure to discover. ~JEM

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I'm a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.
  • Very excited about your involvement in this important endeavor, James. Train hard and stay safe!

    • Thanks for the support Wendy. I really appreciate it.