Diary

The Mountain Walker Diaries: When does the Clock become the Time? And Time, Life?

Nako, Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh, India, 9 July 2017, 1755 hours:

We are at Nako. No idea what day or date it is, and am happy about that. It is quite amazing how liberating it is to be free of the calendar. Am not measuring how much I am doing or how often or how well. I am just doing and without the calendar and time hanging over my head, am doing things efficiently the first time every time and because things need to be done. No wastage of effort. Nor any measure thereof. Paradoxical, but true. There seems to be enough time to do everything.

What is it about measurement that destroys the very ability it aims to improve?

Where lies the tipping point when measurement takes a life of its own and becomes an industry instead of inspiring greater industry in the individual who aims for proficiency?

When does proficiency become the clock? When does the clock become the time? When does time become life?

I suppose one could argue that these posts have a date and time and that therefore, I do know the date etc, but I don’t – not in the conventional sense. As in, it is just some words and figures that I am seeing on the phone and adding – with accuracy but without thought – to the post when I am done writing. But this information has no meaning for me, the fact that it is 6 pm is not driving me or telling me to do something or not do it. Or to fret or breath or eat or think or complete something or … anything. Even now, as I write this, I have no idea if it is a Sunday or a Wednesday. To be fair, I don’t think about days of the week or time of day even back home.

But out here, in the Himalayas, the notion of clock time does stand suspended. And am enjoying it for now. Sitting at this lake. Listening to the water. Trying to get stones to skip across the water. That’s life at 12,010 feet above sea-level.

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Getting Nako Lake to yourself on a clear day, with nothing but the sounds of nature, now that’s worth a walk at 12,010 feet above sea level; Photo: sanjay mukherjee

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