Machapuchare Reconsidered

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For the third day in a row, the morning reigns supreme with good visibility. As soon as breakfast is done and I’m all packed, I head up to the viewpoint for a final flute recital and a hearty see-you-later to my friendly Himal.

It dawns on me while looking at Machapuchare that the name associating the mountain with a fish tail is a dumb and rather disrespectful one, and so I ponder how to rectify it. The dual summits soon make clear that this stunning upthrust of rock (closely resembling the Matterhorn in Switzerland, or vice versa) has a balanced duality. At 6993 meters (22,943 ft.) these dual summits are complementary crowns, pushed up into the sky when the Indian subcontinent broke away from Gondwanaland 140 million years ago and floated north to collide with Asia. Basalt, silica, granite and white quartz now call out to neighboring Annapurna and Lamjung Himal that balanced binaries help organize this cosmos.

An association with gendered humans is obvious, but how about prior to our recent appearance on the planet? The mountain’s twin peaks could remind us of the mantle and earth’s core as a fundamental pair. Also primary is the sky and land binary. Night into day? Neuron and electron? No shortage of examples!

The south face and its peak must be “yo”/yang, both absorbing and transmitting the vital energy the ancient Chinese recognized as qi. The north and “in” face protects the south and is perhaps higher and more vulnerable to the shadows at its base and the winds howling around the top.

So then it’s Inyo Mountain for me, although “machapuchare” still sounds cool even if the meaning is, in my view, not really representative or evocative of the reality at hand.

My walk down the ridge and back to the Pokhara road is delightful, taking about 90 minutes. A local bus is waiting for me and so I hop on for the 45 min. ride back to the edge of the city, then taxi back to Dandelion Hotel. It was a perfect day and overall excellent trip, and now I’m ready for Mr. Tokyo to appear tomorrow.  

This last image was bestowed upon me after the previous day’s storm clouds parted briefly at sunset.  A lovely mountain bathed in a pastel rose light, with a lenticular cloud crowning its summit.  Suitable for framing and long-term inspiration….

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