“To see the greatness of a mountain, one must keep one’s distance. To understand its form, one must move around it. To experience the moods, one must see it at sunrise and sunset, at noon and at midnight, in sun and in rain, in snow and in storm, in summer and in winter and in all other seasons. He who can see the mountain like this comes near to the life of the mountain, a life that is as intense and varied as that of a human being.”
Words from Lama Govinda, a 20th century holy man, quoted by Richard Blum, one of the three editors of National Geographic’s book, “Himalaya: Personal Stories of Grandeur, Challenge, and Hope”.
Some say the book is worth buying for the photographs alone (more than a 100 from some of the most accomplished photographers in the world). But the 40 short essays accompanying them are what gives this book its real meaning.
“What the collection of writings in Himalaya does is take those experiences among the tallest mountains of the world and bring them back to where they most touch people that spend time in the Himalaya, which is in your heart.”
“Conrad Anker, one of the world’s most talented climbers, writes in his Himalaya essay, the mountains he had gone out to first ascend in Nepal and Tibet, had faded into the shadows next to the people that lived there. “The mountains have taught me humility, but the people who live in the shadows of these mountains have taught me acceptance, respect and kindness.”
The words of the world’s foremost wildlife biologist, George Schaller, in a voice light on science and strong on feeling: “Standing at this convergence of snow and sky, I lift my face and feel afloat like a passing cloud. Spirits soar in such infinite space, one feels euphoric in the cold clarity of the peaks, and the silence speaks to the soul.”
Himalaya approaches this from so many different directions, from the Tibetan monks who live in the high monasteries, to Jimmy Carter on a trek, to climbers scaling the heights. Yet a consistent theme runs through each essay, and if we approach this book as we approach the Himalayas, looking for it to give us something, ultimately we come away with a greater sense of self and what we too could achieve.”
Sounds like a great addition to my library…:-)