Sunday, May 21, 2006

This mountain

The party was's funny what happens to people when you go through bs like law matter what you think of them, there is always this feeling of grudging respect and warm affection. It was at a small private winery in Sebastopol and we drank sangria and schmoozed, munched on roast beef and toasted to our success. Fortunately it did not rain. We took pictures and hugged and hugged more as the blood-alcohol level increased. There were the usual conversations about mbe's and whatnot which annoyed me, but what else do we have in common...the main thing law school does to you is make you a very uninteresting person. Even those convinced that they are very interesting people. Especially those people.

I have heard the quickest way to bore people is talk about yourself...of course that is what I'm doing now. But I'm not getting a lot of responses at the moment here anyway. Throw me a frickin' bone here...

I woke up early despite the excessive amounts of straight Tequila, drove down in the rain to the organic bakery on Healdsburg square and sat in the front looking at the trees, watching the intermittent rain come down.

It reminded me of all those quiet moments spent in the mountains. Waking to the sound of birds and big silence. Wet nylon, mud and dead pine needles underfoot. When I climbed mountains.

I've been a pedestrian climber for a while now. I climbed Mt. Shasta twice. North Palisade. The Royal Arches in Yosemite. The Exum route on the Grand Teton. This morning reminded me of those mornings. Getting up in the morning blackness. Pulling on your clothes and bracing yourself against the icy air. Cold metal clinking. The glowing dawn spreading in the distance. Fear. Exertion. Suffering. Moving over stone.

You go through the whole range of emotions. Elation. Anger. Sadness. The desire to turn around. Firm resolution.

Mountains are motivating. The red PMBR book is not. That is why I regard the bar exam as the hardest thing I have ever done. Not that I have done it yet, but the mental toughness required to push through the boredom separates us. Do people without an inner life do better in such situations? I can't say. I just know that the world calling to me outside my window is a glaring vulnerability, requiring serious composure.
In 1944 the French Alpinist, Poet, Surrealist, Sanskritist and pupil of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff who called himself René Daumal; told the story of eight Knowledge-Seeking artists and scholars who set out in Quest of a mysterious Mountain that unites Heaven and Earth.

This book continues the story started by Daumal who died, leaving the novel to end in midsentence. Mt. Analogue is a Vision of a cosmic axis linking the human realm of civilization to a higher order of existence.

René died of tuberculosis before finishing telling us of his own ascent of Mount Analogue; but before he died he Communicated to us one of the basic laws of this metaphysical mountain. I offer you here Renés own words:

"To reach the summit, one must proceed from encampment to encampment. But before setting out for the next refuge, one must prepare those coming after to occupy the place one is leaving. Only after having prepared them can one go on up. That is why, before setting out for a new refuge, we had to go back down in order to pass our Knowledge on to other Seekers."


Blogger Politically Lost said...


there's your bone, get back to studying.

11:28 AM  

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