The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share. I understand all this, not in my mind but in my heart, knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that mere words will remain when I read it all again, another day. I flush with feeling, moved beyond my comprehension, and once again, the warm tears freeze upon my face. These rocks and mountains, all this matter, the snow itself, the air--the earth is ringing.
|Published (Last):||2 December 2009|
|PDF File Size:||18.38 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||14.99 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share. I understand all this, not in my mind but in my heart, knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that mere words will remain when I read it all again, another day. I flush with feeling, moved beyond my comprehension, and once again, the warm tears freeze upon my face.
These rocks and mountains, all this matter, the snow itself, the air--the earth is ringing. All is moving, full of power, full of light. Since Jang-bu seems uncomfortable with the Lama or with himself or perhaps with us, I tell him not to inquire on this point if it seems to him impertinent, but after a moment Jang-bu does so. Especially when I have no choice! In the early light, the rock shadows on the snow are sharp; in the tension between light and dark is the power of the universe.
This stillness to which all returns, this is reality, and soul and sanity have no more meaning than a gust of snow; such transience and insignificance are exalting, terrifying, all at once. It won the National Book Award in , when I was first teaching, and I was not yet ready to read it. Something like Zen and the At of Motorcycle Maintenance, it was a book for a time, highly influential. But even then, having slow-read it over the month of my trip, it has still taken me months to get to writing about it.
I warn you, this could go on for a while. The Snow Leopard is one of the best and important books I have ever read, and I finally read it not in some hippie solo way or at an Ashram or something, but on a one-month road trip in a mini-van, no less, ha! An epic, once in a lifetime trip, tent camping, hiking several national parks, driving through the west I know and love, sometimes reading the poetry of the region if I remembered to look it up as I went.
A pilgrimage, of sorts, for me, anyway, partly spiritual as much as getting in touch with natural beauty and friends along the way. Organic architecture, in harmony with place.
Also perfect for the trip and in tandem with The Snow Leopard. Matthiessen, equally adept at fiction and non-fiction, in The Snow Leopard writes the book of his life. And he makes it with a friend, crusty field biologist George Schaller, who is there to study the Himalayan Blue Sheep.
They go with a number of sherpas and encounter a very few people along their way, though PM does actually meet the Lama of Shay. The travel narrative that is also a journey of the soul has a long tradition, and a rich one. The hump-backed whales, orcas and other whales were closer to the shoreline than in decades around Monterey Bay in late August , and we stood with various locals reverently and feverishly, able with our naked eye to see them spout, breach and feed, boats and kayaks hovering around them at a respectful distance.
It felt like what the Indians call a ceremony to have been there. As would have been the case in the seventies, a couple evenings there were guitars and much wine, as locals excitedly told about how wonderful this occasion was even for them, having lived there all their lives.
The Snow Leopard
Books by Peter Matthiessen