Monday, January 26, 2009

Silence: 玉龙雪山

Unfortunately, many Chinese tourists do not get to explore much beyond the beginnings of a nature path. The tour guides take them from one “pretty" zone to another (the number of times, as a traveler in China, that you hear “哇,太漂亮了!" or "太美了!" or my favorite "美死了!" from others will quickly exceed the sum of your toes and fingers) like dogs on leashes.
Fortunately, that leaves me much freedom on the path at the Jade Snow Mountain to do as I please - so I walk off the path. A couple miles of trekking later, I realize that I only had a dozen dumplings for breakfast and am hungry. I rummage around my backpack for leftover crackers that I bought in Beijing. After chewing for a little bit, I stop. I'm the only human being making a sound. In the distance, the white Tibetan-style temple is the size of a penny. Horses and cows make dots on neighboring hills. I hold my breath - it's too loud, even though I was only breathing in shallow gulps. My brain is talking with thoughts suddenly surfacing to fill the silence. I wonder if this is what walking in outer space is sound, the only sensation anchoring you to life your heart beat, memories reminding you that you existed, exist and will exist. 
A faint cowbell rings, the mountain exhales, ushering clouds over its head onto mine. 

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1 Comment:

sarah said...

Gosh. it sounds amazing. it's sad when we don't notice or care at all for nature; it's even sadder when we notice and trivialize it!

so... why beijing?

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