Sunday, 12 October 2008

Karmic cement

Prayer Perch, Ladakh, August 2008

I've been posting a few images from my Ladakh trek as part of my Processes of Nature project. the simple reason is that the Himalaya are a great place to observe the processes that go into making and breaking mountains. I've travelled, by various means, through mountainous country all over the World and yet nowhere have I felt as close to the cycle of creation, growth and destruction of such mountains as much as I did in Ladakh (volcanic regions notwithstanding).

The shot here is a case in point. Our trek leader quipped that these monastic outposts must be held together with karmic cement, being built on apparently the most friable outcrops to be found. They've probably been around for centuries. Distinctly permanent buildings from a human perspective but a mere fleeting fancy in geologic time. But even with the slow process of mountain building, there were signs of the trails collapsing and the river valley changing in real-time. The path was frequently moved to deal with a new collapse or change in the river path.

We take it as a matter of faith that the mountains will be around forever but that is only a human scale. The Universe is much less constant over long periods.

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