Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Post- Mountain Hermitage Life

I did title this entry:
Office life (What a boring title)

but thought it somewhat boring so changed it.

in short,

I really don't like being stuck in an office.
(and i have been living up in the mountains for 2 days, although i meant it to be 3)

in long,

Who first had the ridiculous idea that an office is conducive to effective work?
And who had the equally ridiculous idea that we should stay in the office (? to maximize work time?) ...
i could rant about this all day, which would even further seriously diminish my effective wrk time.

apart from school visits, my only respite from the office environment is the odd trip to the loo. I value these trips immensely. While standing there peeing, i can see over the top of the cubicle and out the window, to the trees. And i can learn a lot from what i see. If the tree is moving, it is windy. If the tree is still, it is not. (it's fun when there's a typhoon blowing, but the window is usually closed at such times). Between the leaves/branches, i can see if the sky is blue or not. (it is today!) And one of the most amazing things about seeing the same tree day in day out is watching the seasons change! I remember (or at least imagine i can remember) back in the winter when there were no leaves. And I definitely remember one day when i suddenly thought "hey! the tree is bushy with many leaves! It is truly summer!"
Today, the tree's leaves are still fairly plentiful, which allows only some of the bright blue sky to show through. Some of the leaves are smaller, curling up, and gradually turning brown. hey are moving a fair amount - but the branches are still. So the next typhoon is not here yet.

Back in the office: the energy down here is flat, dull and grey (still no plants except a couple of bushes outside the window, partially visible thru the half-closed blind) whereas up in the mountains, the energy is all pointy and green and interesting! even when it's misty and you can't see anything, you can shout and it will echo off the mountains. Nothing echoes through the office fog except the non-ceasing hum of the computers/photocopier etc. I thought of the mountain echoes this morning when teaching 9 and 10 year-olds the Mulberry Bush song. I was shouting out the actions "This is the way we brush our teeth!" etc, and i suddenly realized it was echoing off the wall of the room. It crossed my mind how different the experience would be (and how much more lively and energized the kids would be) if we were up in the mountains doing the same activity.

I found, in the mountains, what may be the ultimate echo place.

The first echo comes from a little rocky shoulder to my left. Then from another similar shoulder just below it and a bit further away. Then, after a second and a half (!!!) the echo pans around from slightly left of the centre to the far right, as the other side of the valley gets further away and slopes down towards the real world. (i may even have heard a subsequent echo from somewhere even further!) Here's the diagram i drew in my diary, with a Google Earth screenshot below:

The place i was a hermit in is the red-roofed mountain refuge hut slightly to the right of the middle of the bottom of this picture, which i took last time from the summit of Kujuu:

The hut is at a confluence of several hiking paths and makes a good place for a picnic stop, so on Monday, i had several people unbeknowingly wandering through my bedroom...


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