Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Way of the Mountain

I'm reading 'The Fruitful Darkness," by Joan Halifax and in its pages, I come across this:

"Viewing a mountain from a distance or walking around its body, we can see its shape, know its profile, survey its surrounds. The closer you come to the mountain, the more it disappears. The mountain begins to lose its shape as you near it. Its body begins to spread out over the landscape, losing itself to itself. On climbing the mountain, the mountain continues to vanish. It vanishes in the detail in each step. Its crown is buried in space. Its body is buried in the breath."

I'm immediately taken back to Fuji-san. I walked to her foot though a forest fog, past rotting shrines traditionally only seen by male suitors. I climbed her flank of constantly shifting shale. But I never saw her.

I spent a night in her embrace, breathed in her scent of chemical toilet sanitizers mingling with burning plastic. I stood on her shoulder, arms raised to honor the rising sun. But I never saw her.

Trains and buses took me past her. But she wasn't there. My plane flew over her head. But she wasn't there.

On a clear sunny winter day, she finally showed herself to me. And she's ever within.

On the turntable: Eric Clapton, "Rush"
On the nighttable: Francois Bizot, "The Gate"

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