"Ah, mon cher, we are odd, wretched creatures, and if we merely look back over our lives, there's no lack of occasions to amaze and horrify ourselves."

- Albert Camus as Jean-Baptiste Clamence, 'The Fall'

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Image of Image

There was a time, and that time was now. Swish past it, passed it and this continued, continues. Trying to make sense of it all, tenses abound, continuing the past, perfecting the future, offering little but variation in perspective. The point that is closest to being, just being in the moment is the moment. This is not a pleasant read, this is not simple. More often than not, an abstract is associated with a concrete, or a material with a colour, when it comes to describing something that exceeds the limits of normality. Pitch black, red hot, silence that can be cut with a knife. Futile similes and pointless metaphors. Silence that can be cut? Such are the times, and such are the parallels drawn. Silence, get this, is not dissimilar to bread. Following that logic, time is sushi – chopped up into digestible bits, wrapped up and rolled into small portions and menu-carded into calendars and clocks to be sold. This is not skepticism, this is cliché and thereby, fact: time is money.

But there is a certain area, with bubbles of sharp jagged rock and cold uninviting snow, floating way above industrial city and modern town. In this place, commercialism tries to live and make its home, but finds that it can never have more than just a house, a temporary residence. In this place: mountains. Great beings of stone power, aged beyond one's capacity to measure time, for whom time means nothing but a few centimeters up or down. Over the centuries, Tibetan lamas, European explorers, Nepali Sherpas and other miscellany have climbed mountains, walking unmade paths, feeling awe while learning humility and this one fact: mountains defy metaphors. Every time that a description has been attempted, all that is left to show for it is utter failure.

Mountains are like…
The view from the summit seemed as though…

No, nothing could come of it. For how is something quantified, that does not relate to numeric values? Where time does not apply, neither does timelessness. The mountains don’t offer much but disappointment for those who go there hoping to gain. Relinquishing the self in that place is not sacrifice; the mountains couldn’t care less. Traveling there is always a pilgrimage – done out of choice though it takes several and then some trips to realize why the choice was made at all. Peace, quiet, solitude, are adjectives that the mountains might evoke, but do not contain within themselves.

Somewhere in the mountains, a climber proceeds, knowing that even as day becomes night and though the watches on a billion wrists tick on, all that may be found there is a photograph -

Semblance of timelessness.

No comments:

Post a Comment