Notes on Living Outside Cultural Norms. 3 Generations, 1 Calling.

May 4th, 2014, 6pm

But howre you to teach something that isnt premeditated?1

Each spring We take The Trip.
We: my student, his father and myself (plus a growing number of regulars).
The Trip: Tateyama, marking the end of our winter season.

It’s not about mountaineering or snowboarding, I thought it was, but after 5 years I realise differently. Generations blurred, relationships and responsibilities intertwined; time, mountains, and food shared.

Something to look forward to—something to savour—


To the timid traveler, fresh from the sedimentary levels of the lowlands, these highways, however picturesque and grand, seem terribly forbidding—cold, dead, gloomy gashes in the bones of the mountains, and of all Nature’s ways the ones to be most cautiously avoided. Yet they are full of the finest and most telling examples of Nature’s love; and though hard to travel, none are safer. For they lead through regions that lie far above the ordinary haunts of the devil, and of the pestilence that walks in darkness. True, there are innumerable places where the careless step will be the last step; and a rock falling from the cliffs may crush without warning like lightning from the sky; but what then! Accidents in the mountains are less common than in the lowlands, and these mountain mansions are decent, delightful, even divine, places to die in, compared with the doleful chambers of civilisation. Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain-passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action. Even the sick should try these so-called dangerous passes, because for every unfortunate they kill, they cure a thousand. 2


  1. Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, 1974 (William Morrow & Company) 

  2. John Muir, The Mountains of California, 1911 (Ten Speed Press: California) 

Sanna, Shu and Ellen said thanks.

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James Gibson

Hungry & Footsore

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