Saturday, December 21, 2002

Today the clouds become much higher and thinner and a trip across Howe Sound in the teeth of a moderate Squamish revealed peaks dusted for the first time with the first snow of fall. And only a day before winter begins!



As I was cruising the web, I found a nice description of mountains, from a blogger in Japan at Notes From Pure Land Mountain



SINGING MOUNTAINS



These mountains, like all mountains, are written up by ecologists in a scientifico-pretentious kind of way, sort of like accountants talking to each other, in a distancing style that has by default become the way people talk about natural things now when they want to sound authoritative, which is a damn shame, in view of the fact that there is so much more involved than science and sounding authoritative. I like the old mythological mystery ways, in which one could actually talk with mountains, as being more real, and far closer to the point, which is to unite us with our surrounds. Or sing the mountains. A mountain is a helluva lot more than rocks and trees, as everybody knows in their hearts; yet that is what we are told to save. As if this whole thing were a Saturday matinee serial in which we were the heroes in white and the mountains (or the entire earth, no less!) a fair damsel in distress tied across some railroad tracks as the great steaming black juggernaut of civilization roars nearer, when of course it is the big black juggernaut that will be the one to go off the tracks into the abyss...




...and other fantasies. But when the mountains look like this, they really do sing, a song of cold pure tones and long notes of unrivalled clarity. There is no harmony in them at this time of year, only the thin single voices that ring across the inlet, more vibration than tone, like the metal of a temple bell that has just been struck.