Whose blog is this?
Dave, what are you doing Dave?
The glossary at the end of The Haiku Handbook has a term used in discussions of haiku: “aware (ah-wah-reh, touchingness): moving, stirring; the kind of thing that evokes an emotional response; often in the phrase mono no aware – ‘the touchingness of things’.” Sometimes just walking down the sidewalk on a sunny day, I’ll laugh out loud for the sheer joy of it, and have a smile on my face long afterwards. Even growing up, hiking in the woods and fields of our farm in Iowa, I delighted in the sounds, touch, and visions opened to me, and the adventure of (as I saw it) discovering, exploring, and understanding those places; and the things I saw, heard, touched, and climbed over/under/through changed me and moved me so much that I can’t imagine who I’d be if I hadn’t.
mono no aware
These days I’m a computer geek in Portland OR, but only on the surface — that little farm kid who loves to hike, climb, and explore is never far away. Too bad I was so clumsy they had to send me away to college to keep me from driving all the tractors into the ditch. :-)
I’m very fortunate to have Nancy, my brilliant, lovely, and loving wife to keep me more or less on the right track, two golden retrievers, Hank and Maggie, and one cat, Willow, who basically runs the whole show.
But yield who will to their separation
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For heaven and the future’s sakes.
— Robert Frost, from Two Tramps in Mud Time
This is a map of part of the Tsangpo Gorge of Tibet, deep within the Himalayan mountain range. The “Everest of Rivers”, it is the deepest canyon on earth, where the Tsangpo River carves its way through the wall of the Himalayas.
In Tibetan Buddhist tradition it is called Pemako, one of the sacred hidden lands, known only to the local hunters and religious pilgrims. The legendary Hidden Falls at the heart of the gorge were finally seen by western explorers only in 1998. After more than 50 years of failed major expeditions, it was a single man who succeeded by living with and gaining the trust of the local people.
For me, Pemako symbolizes the place that you find only when your journey has changed you into the person who can finally recognize it — meandering homeward, finding without looking.