24 April 2012

903 Views Of Mt. Gumbo

Following my own "narrow road to the deep north"*, through the countryside of my mind...

This is a time of particular reflection, as I contemplate change in my life, and a path that unfolds a step at a time. The jottings here have mapped out parts of the peculiar terrain of my mind. I have been unable to shake the notion put forth in the work of Japanese artist Hokusai, in his famous series of woodblock prints 36 Views of Mount Fuji. The art being a manifestation of explorations into a central idea, I realized that I have been engaging in the same thing with words.

The problem is I am still chasing Mount Fuji.

My nine-hundred and third post. 903 different maps in just over three-and-a-half years of journeying. I'm still looking for that point about which this world of mine revolves. My own personal axis mundi. Perhaps it is there. There have been glimpses. Sometimes the fog burns off and I can just see something there, something that might be a mountain, a tree, a post the size of Fuji.

I don't know. Ideas are funny that way. Our heads are full of them, universes contained in the perimeter of our minds. I have many. What I don't know is the one that functions as the anchor of my internal universe, and by extension, my external universe. I've come close, at times, I think. Lately "Love" seems to be central to the mental eructations I call my writing. You, dear readers, may better able to tell me.

Gripping smoke. Herding cats. Embracing a waterfall. The tasks I set for myself, because if I have learned anything from writing, getting a handle on truth, authenticity, and the "real" means chasing something I may never fully grasp. Yet something keeps me on the path, searching for that one view in my head that finally makes me say "I have seen the mountain".

I will see it. I know it. All I need to do is keep looking.

*The Narrow Road to the Deep North (and Other Travel Sketches), by Matsuo Basho, is a book I would love to write for today, and one I wish I had written.


  1. Forget the rules--play by your heart.

  2. I love that you're celebrating your 903rd post. Not the 900th. Or the 1000th. The 903rd.

  3. 903 is an auspicious number according to an ancient wise Japanese man ... wallow in your wonderfulness because soon 904 will come along and things will only get better.
    Love IS Central, Irish ... always ..

  4. First of all, I just bookmarked that book, one I never heard of before now.

    I love the beauty of the metaphor, the connection between your personal journey in writing and Mount Fuji, but I wonder if it one doomed to failure and heartbreak. Mount Fuji is there. You can touch it. If you prepare enough, and buy the right equipment, and hire the best guides, you could probably climb it to the very top. There is no personal Mount Fuji in your head. If there is, it changes shape and location every day, and at the exact moment you finally discover it, it will morph into something else. I applaud your commitment on your journey, but don't ever expect to prevail. Good luck. Dress warm.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...