“Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else … Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”
― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
From my old journal, The Daily Epiphany, August 11, 1997:
The sun has set where we are camped. Set early because of the giant shadow of Boulder Mountain (13,528′).
But over my left shoulder is the huge triangular mass of Mount Antero. It’s still bright with the evening sun. It is barren, rocky, dun colored. The surface looks like speckled gravel, but I know these are huge car-sized boulders, not little rocks. Distance, height, perspective can be very confusing in the mountains.
From where I sit I look straight up a V-shaped channel – with two rounded mountain shoulders on either side. The channel is bare; I can see the violence of rock slides down its steep trough. The two shoulders have trees – they end right about at the highest treeline. The evergreens up there struggle. I see lots of brown dead sentinels; a lot of gray dead wood on the ground.
Above the shoulders the peak ridge itself cuts into the sky. The pointed main peak flanked by two rounded subpeaks. It is a world of steep rock, now turning orange as the invisible sun sets. The sky above is still blue- the deep purple blue of high altitudes (we’re camped at about 11,000 feet – we have over 3,000 more to go). Little clouds boil past; impossibly fast, impossibly close.
Tomorrow morning we will attempt to scale the subpeak on the right, after following the jeep road, the old mining road as far as we can. Sitting here, I don’t see how it will be possible. It is so high, so far, so rocky. I can see the scree slope which stopped me the last time. I’m now two years older, in no better shape. What makes me want to throw myself on that awful rock again?