I was reading a passage from the the book "The Necessity of Empty Spaces" by Paul Gruchow. I recorded a small section of a page in my journal and thinking back on it, it reminds me of a term my Indian sister and I coined as we would walk out of our flat in in the outskirts of Calcutta, into a mass of people piled on top of each other on top of bicycles and motorbikes. I would look out into the palm trees and grey pollutant sky and say, look at those mountains! So beautiful, just beyond the trees I can see them now. And she would laugh and roll her eyes at me and say, "Invisible Mountains!" and we would trace the outline of the mountains with our fingers. I think it was my way of removing myself from the outrageously overwhelming noise pollution and overabundance of humans in that area. And it worked! To me, mountains are both a physical earthly mass the wrestle and reckon with, a sanctuary and a harsh challenge, and deep metaphors for life and longing that seep into an everyday existence. Gruchow wrote:
Mountains have a way of insisting on the long view. The first step you take in the morning, if you are practical and wise, is one measured against the total accumulation of the steps you intend to take by nightfall.
Looking back, I think this childish and utterly indulgently dreaming term, was my way of holding on to a long view, not getting dragged into the dust and grime of Calcutta, stepping forward in time, not getting stuck but only momentarily tucked into a place.