“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)
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
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
the struggle will be hard,
life will be hard,
but you will come with me.
“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
“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!)
“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.”
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,
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.
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.
“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
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
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
“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
“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.”
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”
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.
“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
“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
“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?”
~ Veronica Roth, Insurgent
“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”
“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))
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!