Notes on Living Outside Cultural Norms. Walking up Questioning & walking down Answering.

April 16th, 2014, 11am

“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”1

Walking up Questioning
Thoughts are intrinsic to long walks. Yet today, my mind dwelled on just one: Why do this, what worth is in spending the whole day scrambling over mountains; shouldn’t I be in some meeting, sending some emails or seen to be doing something workish?

Walking down Answering
Walking in the mountains is walking in the mountains, using my time for a genuine activity; what could be more fruitful: WYG≥WYS. I should be cautious of false activities; activities that look like work2, feel like work, yet are nothing more than filling or wasting time: WYS≠WYG.

Animals of note.

  • Siberian Chipmunk. (First sighting) A body of about 1o-15cm (tail a little shorter) with distinct striping from head to tail. Very agile, making great controlled leaps from rock to rock; not overly concerned with my presence.
  • Small Japanese Field Mouse. Dark brown/grey, only 4-5cm in length. Such a size that everything around seems like a gigantic obstacle; very funny to watch.
  • Japanese Deer. With distinct fluffy white bottoms. Several quietly passing, stopping occasionally to eat; not noticing me resting in the grass a few meters away.
  • Japanese Tit. By far the most abundant occupant of the woodlands today. One bold fellow landing just in front of my view; pausing for a while to shake feathers dry, after bathing in a nearby stream.


20 km and 9 hours on the trail… no complaints to speak of, except I could use some new socks… in any case Mr. Left & Mr.Right were easily bribed with a visit to the local onsen.

  1. Rashaski Zen proverb. 

  2. Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. [Oxford English Dictionary] 

Craig, Gerry, Roy, Peter and 3 others said thanks.

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James Gibson

Hungry & Footsore

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