There are four sacred mountains in China, Emei Shan (shan means mountain, in Chinese) being the tallest of the four, where I just got back from climbing up the length of the mountain and then down from the summit.
At just under 10,000 feet, it was my first mountain climb. It took three full days and it fully kicked my ass. I can’t remember the last time, if ever, I’ve gotten an extended cardiovascular workout like that. The summit goes higher than the clouds, so when you look out and around you from up there, it looks like you’re looking out at the sea – everything is white, but there’s nothing around you as far as you can see in every direction. Lots of unbelievable sights, including dozens of monkeys happily living in their natural habitat, and lazy tourists being carried up the mountain by the most fit Chinese people I’ve ever seen in my life. They crafted bamboo stretcher-like structures which two of these guys put on their shoulders, and they climb up the mountain with some lazy fucker sitting in between the two of them on this bamboo chair. Totally bizarre sight.
At the top there’s a visual phenomenon known as Buddah’s Halo. At sunrise, when the fog rises to the peak of the summit as the sun hits it, somehow a circular 7-color rainbow is naturally produced. As if this weren’t enough, if you stand at the right angle, you can see your reflection within the center of the halo. Centuries ago monks from the monestary at the peak saw this blissful sight and thought they’d reached Nirvana – and, full of unspeakable pleasure, instinctively threw their bodies from the cliff. I saw this with my eyes.
I downloaded a new DJ Shadow mix from Fight Club called Funky Skunk. I’ve been listening to it on repeat for 3 hours. It’s fuckin’ off the hook, and I’m searching everywhere for a tracklisting.
Yesterday I saw It’s All Gone Pete Tong and Wag the Dog, both of which were good, but “…Pete Tong” was fantastic.