Saturday, August 29, 2009

Over my head?

A number of friends have asked for more pictures of the summit of Mt Bachelor near Bend, Oregon. As the above photo shows, it is a barren inhospitable place, seemingly devoid of life other than a few curious birds above and probably sneaky lizards and voles living among the rocks below. As Jacob from Ocala Daily Photo astutely commented in an earlier post, mountain tops have been the site of important scenes in native mythology and Judeo-Christian history ostensibly because it was believed that the further the ascent, the closer a person would be to divinity. This is easy to understand when, already exhausted by an arduous trek and breathing thin air, faced with an austere environment and the mundane world below, that the mind might more readily turn to "loftier" thoughts.
As I lay on my back from this spot and gazed sublimely upward, my reverie was distracted by a commuter jet, flying , I suppose, from Portland to Reno, leave its fluffy track across the heavens. It was not a sign from the All, but from science, which had trumped the old magic mountain and relegated it to a distant place in old books. It didn't matter to me. I still had to come down the trail before dark and appreciate the present one more day.

5 comments:

Jacob said...

Well, Lee, I think I shall have to compliment you on your great commentary...quoting, of course, great "authorities." ;-))

Actually, it's a wonderful and right-on commentary. This reminds me of traveling up Pike's Peak (no, didn't hike it!)...after about 12,000 feet, it's pretty barren.

I was kind of hoping, though, that you'd come down with a better set of "Ten Commands."

Have a wonderful day today!

Small City Scenes said...

Did you leave a little flag to mark your spot? LOL
Did you have any GREAT revealations? I guess you did-----that is to appreciate another day. MB

tapirgal said...

Just let him think about those commandments for awhile, and I'm sure he'll have some :) Maybe we don't want to get him started.

Having been on a few mountaintops myself, although not this one, I do know the feeling of being closer to "something." It occurred to me that it might have something to do with being light-headed from the effort and altitude, and the irrespressible sense that I had overcome something that seemed almost impossible (if it's a long or arduous hike). On the other hand, there is simply nothing like standing above the world like this, no matter how you got there.

Nice photo, Lee. I was surprised at the broken rock (don't ask me why), because volcanic residue takes so many interesting forms, and I keep forgetting that these mountains are volcanic. It's nice to see it without its covering of snow for a change.

cieldequimper said...

Your words are pretty inspiring, I know when I'm up on a mountain I am closer to the stars, the moon, the sun... This is a lovely view you had, even though you said you were looking up rather than down! ,-)

Raksha said...

Regardless of the commuter jet, the top of a mountain, along with the act of climbing a mountain to the top, still retain their sacredness. I think you know that, and it's a big part of the reason you put so much effort into reaching the top.

When you began posting this series of mountain pictures, I immediately connected them with with the Hebrew word aliyah, meaning (among other things) both the ascent of a mountain, especially a sacred mountain like Mount Zion, and being called to read from the Torah in public, in front of the congregation. That's also an aliyah.

The double meaning of the word fascinated me because in both cases, it means an ascent out of the everyday mundane sphere into the sacred sphere.

I think this one is my favorite of all your mountain pictures. I love the color, shape and texture of those rocks, and the blue mountain ranges in the distance.