The Mountain

The Kanaka Maoli people of Hawai’i want to keep the summit of Mauna Kea (White Mountain) pure, accessible only for those initiated. Astronomers disagree, building gigantic telescopes on the summit. They worship the stars rather than the mountain.

The Hawai’ian creation chant says creation started in the darkest part of the ocean and space

microorganisms . big bang
Is that why we go up?
Leaving our earthly home?
ascension . perspective

The mountain was not made for us
If we ascend too fast, we lose our breath
We need to acclimate
“You need to become the place, not expect the place to bow down and become you.”
Lanakila Mangauil

Who are we to alter millions of years old mountains
that will outlive us for millions of years?

 “Stone would call you transient, sporadic.”
Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
mountains are born and grow
and slowly crumble
sun . rain . frost . gravity . wind . glaciers . life

Sisyphus’ punishment is having to roll a stone up a mountain and watch it roll down, over and over, for eternity. But Camus writes that we “must imagine Sisyphus happy.” We chase summits, but they don’t bring us happiness. “The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.”

What if there is no struggle to the top?

“The mountain gives itself most completely when I have no destination, when I reach nowhere in particular, but have gone out merely to be with the mountain as one visits a friend with no intention but to be with him.”

“Walking thus, hour after hour, the senses keyed, one walks the flesh transparent. … Flesh is not annihilated but fulfilled. … I have walked out of the body and into the mountain.”
Nan Shepherd

“I am the mountain!”
Stoned Jesus: I’m The Mountain
I am whole. I take space . I exist