all the mountains are dancing – Vol. 13

“Well, I’ve made up my mind, anyway. I want to see mountains again, Gandalf – mountains; and then find somewhere where I can rest.”

~J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)

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Welcome to this weekend’s Words! We’ve had a long week of our own mountain climbing; so please read, enjoy and may you reach the summit of your own mountain.

We both extend thanks to the following people – Michael at good2begone, Paul at Message in a Bottle, Laurie at Come Up Higher, and our friend and fellow word lover, Laura. Thank you for your pieces/inspiration in this weekend’s Words.

Keep climbing! ~Jennie and Christy

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” ~ John Muir

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The mountain and the river

In my country there is a mountain.
In my country there is a river.

Come with me.

Night climbs up to the mountain.
Hunger goes down to the river.

Come with me.

Who are those who suffer?
I do not know, but they are my people.

Come with me.

I do not know, but they call to me
and they say to me: “We suffer.”

Come with me.

And they say to me: “Your people,
your luckless people,
between the mountain and the river,
with hunger and grief,
they do not want to struggle alone,
they are waiting for you, friend.”

Oh you, the one I love,
little one, red grain
of wheat,

the struggle will be hard,
life will be hard,
but you will come with me.

Pablo Neruda (Thank you Laurie–from Come Up Higher–for the suggestion!)

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 “Chasing angels or fleeing demons, go to the mountains.” ~ Jeffrey Rasley, Bringing Progress to Paradise: What I Got from Giving to a Mountain Village in Nepal

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“Far over misty mountains cold

To dungeons deep and caverns old

We must away, ere break of day,

To find our long-forgotten gold.” 

~J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)

~ “Misty Mountain” (video) by Led Zeppelin (Thank you Laura for the idea!)

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“The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places.

But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now

mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.”

~ J.R.R. Tolkien

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Today I Was So Happy, So I Made This Poem by James Wright

As the plump squirrel scampers
Across the roof of the corncrib,
The moon suddenly stands up in the darkness,
And I see that it is impossible to die.
Each moment of time is a mountain.
An eagle rejoices in the oak trees of heaven,
Crying
This is what I wanted.

“Today I Was So Happy, So I Made This Poem” by James Wright, from The Branch Will Not Break. © Wesleyan University Press, 1963.

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Spring Evening on Blind Mountain by Louise Erdrich

I won’t drink wine tonight
I want to hear what is going on
not in my own head
but all around me.
I sit for hours
outside our house on Blind Mountain.
Below this scrap of yard
across the ragged old pasture,
two horses move
pulling grass into their mouths, tearing up
wildflowers by the roots.
They graze shoulder to shoulder.
Every night they lean together in sleep.
Up here, there is no one
for me to fail.
You are gone.
Our children are sleeping.
I don’t even have to write this down.

“Spring Evening on Blind Mountain” by Louise Erdrich, from Original Fire: Selected and New Poems. © Harper Collins Publishers, 2003

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“Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, and a powerful solace in them. At bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent conviction – so easy to lapse into – that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. By speaking of greater forces than we can possibly invoke, and by confronting us with greater spans of time than we can possibly envisage, mountains refute our excessive trust in the man-made. They pose profound questions about our durability and the importance of our schemes. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us.” ~ Robert Macfarlane, Mountains of the Mind: Adventures in Reaching the Summit

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I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There’s more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

~ “Closer to Fine” (video) by Indigo Girls

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when faces called flowers float out of the ground by E. E. Cummings

when faces called flowers float out of the ground

and breathing is wishing and wishing is having-

but keeping is downward and doubting and never

-it’s april(yes,april;my darling)it’s spring!

yes the pretty birds frolic as spry as can fly

yes the little fish gambol as glad as can be

(yes the mountains are dancing together)

when every leaf opens without any sound

and wishing is having and having is giving-

but keeping is doting and nothing and nonsense

-alive;we’re alive,dear:it’s(kiss me now)spring!

now the pretty birds hover so she and so he

now the little fish quiver so you and so i

(now the mountains are dancing, the mountains)

when more than was lost has been found has been found

and having is giving and giving is living-

but keeping is darkness and winter and cringing

-it’s spring(all our night becomes day)o,it’s spring!

all the pretty birds dive to the heart of the sky

all the little fish climb through the mind of the sea

(all the mountains are dancing;are dancing)

–E. E. Cummings: The Complete Poems, 1904-1962, p. 665

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“If you are faced with a mountain, you have several options.
You can climb it and cross to the other side.
You can go around it.
You can dig under it.
You can fly over it.
You can blow it up.
You can ignore it and pretend it’s not there.
You can turn around and go back the way you came.
Or you can stay on the mountain and make it your home.”

~ Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

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“There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading in the same direction, so it doesn’t matter which path you take.  The only one wasting time is the one who runs around and around the mountain, telling everyone else that their path is wrong.”

~ Hindu Teaching (from Paul of Message in a Bottle and his post “View From the Top.” Thanks, Paul!)

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QUEST FOR THE HOOKAH MAN 

Jaded. Bitter. Indifferent. Wronged.

That was what I felt on the day I decided to leave it all behind.

It took 9 mistakes for me to do 1 thing right. Nothing ever went my way.

Have to be at work by eight…get a flat tire at 7:45…

Favorite show comes on tv….transformer get hit, knocking out the power.

The list goes on. I couldn’t take it anymore.

All my life I had heard about “The Hookah Man”

-rumors

-myths

-legends

-dreams

Envisioned in different forms but basically the same principle. Find him and ask what the meaning of your life was, and the answer will be given.

My quest was to find him. I was done with the way things weren’t working our for me.

My belief was that he sat on top of a mountain, overseeing everything. He smoked off a hookah pipe, meditated, prayed, and waited for someone to come to partake in his knowledge.

I knew he was waiting for me. I went in search for him.

I searched every corner, angle, length, width and depth of our world I could find in my journey.

After what seemed like months, I came to a 3 pronged crossing at the base of a huge mountain.

Path A- led to a long rickety old rotted wood walkway around the mountain. At the top stood a temple.

Path B- led into the mountain. A small tea candle was at the entrance. I guessed that would be the light if I chose this path.

Path C- was the road I stood on. It led up the mountain on a gradual slope that also reached the temple.

Reasoning told me I might as well stay on the path that got me here. It ended up at the same place anyway. Up to the top of the mountain I went.

Continue reading Michael’s piece, Quest for the Hookah Man, to find out what awaits our narrator and to see if The Hookah Man was ever found … (Thank you Michael of Good2BeGone!) Then check out the comments to see who happened to unknowingly cross paths on their mountain climbs long before they had ever met.

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“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”

~ Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

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“You think because he doesn’t love you that you are worthless. You think that because he doesn’t want you anymore that he is right — that his judgement and opinion of you are correct. If he throws you out, then you are garbage. You think he belongs to you because you want to belong to him. Don’t. It’s a bad word, ‘belong.’ Especially when you put it with somebody you love. Love shouldn’t be like that. Did you ever see the way the clouds love a mountain? They circle all around it; sometimes you can’t even see the mountain for the clouds. But you know what? You go up top and what do you see? His head. The clouds never cover the head. His head pokes through, because the clouds let him; they don’t wrap him up. They let him keep his head up high, free, with nothing to hide him or bind him. You can’t own a human being. You can’t lose what you don’t own. Suppose you did own him. Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? You really want somebody like that? Somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door? You don’t, do you? And neither does he. You’re turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can’t value you more than you value yourself.”

~ Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

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“Uriah drops his tray next to me. It is loaded with beef stew and chocolate cake. I stare at the cake pile.

“There was cake?” I say, looking at my own plate, which is more sensibly stocked than Uriah’s.

“Yeah, someone just brought it out. Found a couple boxes of the mix in the back and baked it,” he says. “You can have a few bites of mine.”

“A few bites? So you’re planning on eating that mountain of cake by yourself?”

“Yes.” He looks confused. “Why?”

“Never mind.”

~ Veronica Roth, Insurgent

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“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”

~ Jack Kerouac

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”

~J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))

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This week’s mountain-themed music playlist via YouTube, features music by: Blues Traveler, Midnight Oil, Neil Young, Tracy Chapman and more. Enjoy, and have a great week everyone!

Playlist link:

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36 comments

  1. I love Led Zeppelin and the quotes in this post. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping by and for the comment. Everyone seems to love Led Zepp, makes me so happy, especially seeing kids on tv reality shows saying, “uhhh, who are The Beatles? I’ve never heard Johnny Cash. Moves Like Jagger? Who’s Jagger ?”

      Looks like I need to spend some time at your site! You had me at Marcus Aurelius.

      Glad you dropped by, welcome, and thanks again.

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  2. Dear Jennie,
    Another fantastic compilation. I laughed and cried throughout. Being a “flatlander,” I have a keen lover’s obsession for the mountains. To call out a couple of favorites: “Spring Evening on Blind Mountain”–true talent to paint such an “all senses on board” scene in just a few lines.
    From Paul, who spoke to me immediately (I got lost on (in?) a mountain last week and ended up in an entirely different town than where I started. After panic subsided, I viewed it as an extra adventure…kind of like life, right?
    “There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading in the same direction, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only one wasting time is the one who runs around and around the mountain, telling everyone else that their path is wrong.”

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    1. …continuing thoughts in another box…
      Always have loved J.R.R. Tolkien, too. Thank you so much for these weekly words of wisdom from so many talented folks.
      Hugs to you both!
      Michelle

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      1. Hey Michelle! Glad you enjoyed. Isn’t Paul’s piece awesome? I kept that one filed away in my mental file box knowing we had to use it sometime. Similar to an “all roads lead to Rome,” as long as you’re moving forward, you’re ahead of everyone else sitting on their butts or wasting time chastising others.

        Besides, to throw in some more Led Zepp, even if you’re on the wrong path, “there’s still time to change the road you’re on.”

        Louise’s poem … Love. And it’s so wistful. It reminds me of what I lost and gave up during my drinking days.

        And Tolkien… All Jennie there. 🙂 She and I work and blend well together, but I’m enjoying seeing our different dialects.

        One guess who picked the chocolate cake quote. 😉

        xoxo happy weekend! Get that book!

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        1. I see your different dialects, too! It all makes sense now (I’m a bit slow!) I try to figure each week who the “poster” is and just need to remember that you BOTH always contribute and collect. What great therapy…to collect beautiful words, phrases and music. Ahhh….it makes me happy to just reading and thinking about it.
          (book is ordered!!)

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  3. Hope a little more Led Zeppelin is OK? Thank ya’ll.

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    1. We will never say no to Led Zeppelin. In fact, the only songs I will ever say no to are SEC fight songs that are not Glory Glory to Ole Georgia. (I only say that because I vetoed a song this week for the first time ever. Rocky Top.)

      But you, Whistler, can share any song any time. (as long as it’s not Rocky Top.) 😀

      And for you, Mr. Robert Plant:

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      1. Thank you. Funny, I was thinking of that R. Plant number just the other night, on the road, wishing I could hear it. Thanks for spinning it up.

        ‘Cause you mentioned Jagger…”Moonlight Mile”

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        1. I have got to start watching these youtube videos before posting. I just listen to the songs, hardly ever watch the stuff. This is one time I definitely should have watched before posting. Sorry about the girl. Don’t keep it to spare any feelings. I’ll be more careful next time.

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          1. Hi Whistler! I won’t even tell you how many times I’ve posted video without realizing I hadn’t watched it, just listened. I switched out your link for another 🙂 I love that song, thanks for posting it! Enjoy your weekend ~Jennie

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          2. Hey Whistler, I do that all the time, especially with my running playlists. There was one one time, I don’t even remember–from the funk list, maybe?–that started with just pix of the band then turned into swimsuit models, lol. But I left it in bc hey, swimsuit models. And funky song. (Atomic Dog maybe?)

            I’m sure there are currently countless others up too.

            Like Y said over on the new site, we’re all big boys and big girls.

            So share –and speak– freely and without hesitation (even if you don’t watch the whole video.) it’s all good!

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  4. You had me at that Neruda poem. All his poems grab me by the sternum and pluck my ribs like a harp. Oh man.

    Mountains aren’t in my geographical home. not even close. And yet, I find them alluring. For the many reasons you posted here. Thanks guys…love this (and glad you were able to sneak that Hindu teaching in : )

    Blessings,
    Paul

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    1. You’ve been climbing some mountains recently too, Paul. I’m glad one of those climbs has neared its end.
      Thanks for always offering encouragement to those climbing their own mountains.
      Neruda … yes. Laurie actually brought that piece to my attention. Even before she knew we were doing a Mountain theme. Very odd.
      And thanks for letting me share your work too — see I never forgot. Just waiting for the right opportunity. I’m like an elephant — I never forget. Wait, what was I saying? Something about mountains? 😉

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  5. Mountains do call to me…and I’m surrounded by so many gorgeous ones not too far away (a couple hours drive and I can heed their beckon call). Thanks again you two for an awesome weekend inspiration.

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    1. Of course, Char, and thank you for always visiting and commenting when you can. We appreciate that.

      Mountains are beautiful and majestic … and boy, you can’t beat the view from the top. Not that I’ve climbed an actual mountain. Well, wait, yes I have. Mount Pilatus in Switzerland (though I took a cable car up most of it) and Stone Mountain in Georgia. And plenty of symbolic mountains. Though the mountain of cake has been the most fun.

      Have a wonderful week, Char! -Christy

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      1. Those symbolic mountains you mentioned are some of the most fulfilling to summit. I’m jealous you were on a mt in Switzerland. My dad went there years ago for 2 years and his pictures always fill me with awe. That country is soooo pretty.

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        1. I did a whirlwind educational group tour of Western Europe many moons ago, Char. Switzerland was my favorite country, though the Shakespeare fan in me loved Venice and Verona too. I hope you can visit sometime. Is there a city abroad you’d love to visit?

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          1. Hmmmm. I think I would love Switzerland, of course…and then the Tuscan region in Italy.

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          2. I think you would too! Forgot to add that I loved the Greek islands too. I’m not sure if they’ve restabilized yet, but I had nothing but good experiences. I’ve never seen water so blue.

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          3. Oh yeah. The pictures of those I see are amazing! Those islands would be fun to see.

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  6. I oftentimes save this place for last because I like taking my time and perusing, knowing I will always find what I’m looking for and discover something new as well. You guys are the high note I like to go out on. Today it made more sense than usual after reading handsome’s post over at Guapola. His was a sobering take on the realities of our online world, and it’s an exceptional piece of writing- as per usual with that guy. It was an important reminder that you can’t let the dark shit that some people sell affect your future purchases when it comes to interpersonal commerce. The good people ain’t the ones who talk up being good, they’re the ones who just do their good. The way handsome does his thing, and the way you guys do yours.
    Here’s a tune that helped me through some really bad times, and I think it’s in keeping with your post. Thanks for being that high note.

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    1. Oh Cayman… Jennie and I both love you and love your comment. Beth Hart sings beautifully, thank you. It’s been a very strange week with shadows and darkness creeping in. So many words, and yet I struggle to find the right ones. I hope to write at RoS this week, and use your comment as inspiration.

      But here’s the thing about darkness … when it moves in, all it does is make the shining lights appear brighter. Like stars — they are most noticed when the night is at its darkest. One may think the stars only come out at night, or shine when it is dark. But that’s not so. Stars shine all the time — whether we see them or not.

      But it’s when it is darkest that others find solace in them. And like a full moon, the stars, if plentiful enough, are enough to illuminate a path for others.

      You, my dear, are a star. Thank you. Shine on, always…

      You are paving the way so to speak and because the head of the arrow creates heat as it moves through the air, so are you often catching heat from those not yet able to fully understand what you are doing, believing, or trying to tell them. Let this be of no concern. Your work is not to drag the world kicking and screaming into a new awareness. Your job is to simply do your work sacredly, secretly, and silently which will emanate Light wherever you are and those with “eyes to see and ears to hear”, will respond. ~ The Arcturian Group

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    2. Forgot to say Cayman, you’d probably like the Patty Griffin song in the playlist… “Up to the Mountain” — I also shared it on the new daily site: http://wordsfortheyear.com/2014/01/20/up-to-the-mountain-mlk-song/

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    3. Geez dude, I’m blushing over here.

      I usually save WftW for sometime in the week, when I have time to give it the attention it deserves.

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  7. Girls, It just gets better and better over here. We are all on a deeply spiritual journey. Some of us know this and some of us don’t. Either way we’re ALL on it. What a gift you bring to the world. xox Lisa

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    1. Happy to be on the mountain with you, Lisa. Love you, my friend. Thank you for your sweet words.

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  8. Lauterbrunnen – I was so happy there! And Plath! And on top of that my beloved James Wright! And Indigo Girls! now the mountains (and lizzie) are dancing. One of my favourite posts – I never realised how much of a mountain girl I am – thank you 😉

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    1. Awwww, are you a James Wright fan too? Awesome.

      And a dancing Lizzie is a happy thought indeed.

      This past week turned into an odd week, Liz, and our topic plans went off-course slightly. But… the one I discussed with you is still planned, I didn’t want to rush through it though, and, what we say in the States, half-ass the job. 😉 Thank you for all of your ideas–definitely will be using them and giving you a wave.

      Until then … keep dancing! Love to you and Dylan,
      Christy

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  9. Some how y’all keep getting buried in my email and never show up in my reader. I just found this ’bout 4am. That’s the thing about being a clockkeep, just cause the sun goes down doesn’t mean the gears stop turning. Anyhow, another great one. I’ve always been in love with that line, “more than one answer… pointing me in a crooked line”. sigh…..

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    1. My brain is solar-powered, CTS (which has had me wanting to call you Cadillac lately, BTW), so I totally understand that nocturnal gear turning thing.

      What I don’t understand is the Reader dilemma. I’ll be sure to check the Reader after I post to see if I can see it (what? Doesn’t everyone subscribe to their own blog?). We post pretty consistently–nearly every Saturday morning between 8-10 am eastern–so you can look for us that way, or you can even try unfollowing and refollowing? Hopefully we’ll figure it out.

      “I woke up … Twice as cloudy as the night before, and I went in seeking clarity.” — one of my fave lines.

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      1. Another good one in deed!

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  10. Powerful set, covering all sorts of mountains (and a pretty good playlist too!)

    I still love “because it’s there” as a reason for climbing a mountain.

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    1. Thanks, Guap, glad you liked it. Isn’t that why mountains are there in the first place? Waiting for us to climb them? It’s not going to move for us, so we may as well climb over it. It’s good exercise too (literally and figuratively).

      I think my fave on the list is Blues Traveler, The Mountains Win Again. “A pocket is no place for a smile anyway …”

      Glad you had time to visit! And glad we could provide a little mid-week pep.

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  11. The hookah man and I, both would like to thank you both, for tabs inclusion! Keep climbing those mountains!

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    1. Thanks again for letting us share your work. AND for being the starting place of our little circle. Very very cool. Does climbing mesquite trees count? 😉

      Like

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