Monday, February 24, 2014

Mountain Connection

“The truth, especially when presented in advance, can be too much for some people to accept graciously.” (5) In Norgay’s account of the Everest disaster in Touching My Father's Soul, Norgay reveals in the first few pages how he sought a divination from a lama regarding how the coming season on the mountain would pan out. He received less than heartening news, yet this did not stop him from climbing and continuing on the journey. He was angry that this prediction had been made and, furthermore, was already committed to the expedition. What I found most interesting about this idea raised at the beginning of Norgay's account is, simply put, his pull to climb Everest regardless of the lama’s ominous prediction. Differing from the accounts we have read thus far, Norgay is drawn to the mountain by his father, whom he desperately seeks to have a stronger connection with. His father many years prior had climbed Everest and Norgay reveals early on his account of the journey that this is a major motivation for him to climb – to follow in his father’s footsteps and uphold his family’s legacy.  He climbed to find his father, even though he knew it would be challenging and (nearly) life threatening. Along those lines, however, did the lama’s prediction potentially save Norgay’s life – reminding him to climb with more caution than he may have otherwise?

1 comment:

  1. I also think that this relationship is interesting. Norgay looks up to his father immensely and remembers many of his words of caution and wisdom. He also seems to approach his climb with much more awareness about how it would affect his family, children, and community than it seems many of the clients do. Inherently, the religion, spirituality, and culture that surround him with the other sherpa's also takes on a much more cautious approach to interacting with the mountain. Is the Sherpa relationship truth? Spirituality? Superstition? Whatever the case may be Norgay brings an incredibly safe, insightful, aware mindset and as a result he seems to have a realistic, healthy, and well-grounded relationship with the mountain with his father's guidance to remind him why he is there and what will or will not make this climb worthwhile.