In the empty moments

I’ve often wondered what is it about mountains that calls me there. I’ve thought about why is the lure of the wild irresistible to me. I’ve reflected on why do I yearn for solitude, why is it that I choose to be alone. I’ll write about that soon.

But what I want to share this time are just some words from Oriah, and my photographs from the Himalayas. Eloquent. Expressive. Emotional. At least I think so.

“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

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It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

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It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”

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Which is why I go to the mountains. These answers come to me. In the empty moments.

This entry was posted in General, Philosophy, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


  1. Greg Buck August 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Terrific article that is very well written and inspirational.

    Once again, the images here depict a certain electric feeling, that draws my senses to them, wanting to learn more.

    My particularly vibes are drawn toward the Goat and the goat lady of the mountains.
    The culture, beauty and character of these wonderful people and their daily lives, are told in great detail within these superb images, (No 10 and 11.)

    Superb detail and stunningly captured.

    Greg Buck
    Perth, Australia

  2. Narendra August 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    Profound and deeply engaging.

  3. Sonny August 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    I’ve been wanting to get Oriah’s mountain dreamer book on audio for sometime now…just haven’t got around to it… this poem ….

    the pictures are gorgeous d….meant to come back to again and again and peruse through. I love the new format of your site…[ teach me ! ]

    the poem i have in the sidebar of my blog these days…sharing that…i think you’ll like it….

    There’s courage involved
    if you want to become truth
    There is a broken-open place in a lover Where are those qualities
    of bravery and sharp compassion?

    What’s the use of old and frozen thought?

    I want a howling hurt
    This is not a treasury where gold is stored; this is for copper.
    We alchemists look for talent that can heat up and change.
    Lukewarm won’t do.
    Halfhearted holding back, well-enough getting by?
    Not here.


  4. Dave Nguyen August 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    As always I really enjoy reading your new post (and the great photos). Best of luck my friend.

  5. Noni Chawla August 3, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    You are an exceptional person.

  6. Laxmi Kaul August 3, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    The ease, flow and simplicity with which you write makes me want to keep can you please keep writing :)
    Don’t ever stop
    As always… u make me meet me, recognize my feelings articulate them for me.
    B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L pieces of art.. your words!

  7. Anna August 3, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    Te sky above me, the earth beneath me, ad the fire within me.. Oriah is one of the most catching expressionism to represent the mountain lover. I grew up surrounded by pure and wild nature, bare backed on horses from I was very young, and living in a crowded city makes me feel overwhelmed. The words for solitude, fresh mountains keeps me all emotionally distracted today. Thanks for the reminder this morning – love this blog. Keep it coming Debesh – makes me feel alive :-) hiking shoes and back-pack ready to go.. You are an inspiration to me.. I feel the fire within yet the peaceful solitude..

  8. Rohit Bhardwaj August 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    A very inspiring article. The poem gels with the narrative perfectly….

  9. Swapnil August 6, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    Your poetic style to pen your thoughts can be equated to a (virtual) cake with the images being the icing. I dont know which of the two I look forward to most each week :) What more can I say…am just a mere mortal !

  10. Shaikat August 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    Eloquence and vividness.
    Your post displays these qualities in abundance. When the mind plays unchained the camera captures the unspoken.
    Good to be here and enjoying it…. more so when it is of a friend whom i first met almost 30 yrs back!

  11. Debesh August 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    At the outset, I must apologize for being so tardy in responding to your comments. I have no excuses, but to just say sorry.

    Thank you so much Greg as always for your lovely words of encouragement. They mean a lot to me.

    Thank you so much Narendra and Dave.

    Sonny, your words as always are special to me. Rumi never fails to touch the depths of my heart – thank you so much for sharing.

    Noni sir: You are an amazing person and I respect you tremendously. From you, that means a lot to me.

    You are aware Laxmi, that I admire your photography and your talent enormously and when I see images made by you, I see sensitivity and empathy, qualities that are invaluable for any photographer. Thank you for your beautiful work.

    Rohit sir, many thanks. Your words inspire me.

    Swapnil: I wait to see your photographs of the mountains and I am sure those would be magical indeed. Thank you for commenting.

    Shaikat: How good to connect with you here mate – yes, 28 years to be precise. I look forward to seeing you in December. Thank you for your words.

  12. Letizia Cortini August 22, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    What a impetus! And the silence? … and nothingness? and “the sweet shipwreck in this sea”?
    Undoubtedly I touched an exceptional personality :).

  13. Debesh August 26, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    Thank you so much Letizia – you’re too kind (and generous) with your words. I am not entirely deserving of such praise, I must confess that. But gracias nevertheless.

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