I nudged myself closer to the ledge and closed my eyes and thought ‘Oh what a life this is, why do we have to be born in the first place, and only so we can have our poor gentle flesh laid out to such impossible horrors as huge mountains and rock and empty space,’ and with horror I remembered the famous Zen saying, ‘When you get to the top of a mountain, keep climbing.’ The saying made my hair stand on end; it had been such cute poetry sitting on Alvah’s straw mats.  Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

Photo John Baumann

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8 Responses to

  1. Kathy says:

    Sandy, I always marvel that you, each day, can share an amazing and provocative quote and then offer a beautiful and equally provocative photo as complement. They always make a perfect partnership! Today’s ‘Factor’ is one of my favorites. Thank you!

    • Sandy says:

      Thank you so much for all your positive feedback. It is a little easier to do, now that I’m retired. I like to be a couple of months ahead but with losing Dad, I’m down to about a week ahead. Need to devote some more time to it quickly.

  2. Barbara Estinson says:

    Neat picture! The quote makes me tired, lol.

  3. Di Anne Lewis says:

    I was going to ask how the little piles of stones came to be but then Googled and am 99.9% sure they are cairns (human-made stacks of stones). I mean, if that’s a dry stream bed I’m 100% sure fish didn’t stack them! There were even a couple articles calling for an end to cairns; check out
    Robyn Martin’s 7/7/15 opinion piece in High Country News. Here’s an excerpt:

    “Yet a perplexing practice has been gaining ground in our wild spaces: People have begun stacking rocks on top of one another, balancing them carefully and doing this for unknown reasons, though probably as some kind of personal or ‘spiritual’ statement.”

    • Sandy says:

      I would need a lot more information on how they harm the environment to not like them. Personally I love them as did Kathy. I am sure they are man made and I’d have to ask John but I’m pretty sure this picture was taken at the Ross Creek Cedars in MT as I noticed them one time when I was there. It is a dry creek bed next to ross creek and so there are probably times the rocks are washed out. So I suppose if one doesn’t like anything disturbed in nature, they wouldn’t like these but I suppose the same holds true for sand castles and other ephemeral art. If you ever feel like it check out one of my favorite documentaries Rivers and Tides. Andy can’t remember last name from 2 seconds ago is an environmental artist. In fact, I may have to watch it again. I associate the stacked rocks with Zen. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivers_and_Tides

  4. Jesse says:

    Ok that does it, pictures and quotes in 2017 are definitely Craigfactor’s best year yet! Nice job Sandy and your photographer crew is very good 🙂

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