Why:

Dreams are powerful tools that can help guide anyone to success and happiness. They represent some cherished aspiration, an ultimate ideal of achievement.

The word sylvan refers most directly to a setting associated with the woods. Reflecting on the vigorous life that abounds in sylvan settings is a very powerful force in my life. For me, this word evokes feelings of transcendence, clarity, and unity.

A Sylvan Dream is a dynamic compilation of my life dream. It is an attempt to seek out and document the truth, beauty, and clarity that exists in this world.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Macchu Picchu

Sweat dripped liberally from my brow and into my moustache as I made my way up the side of the mountain towards the entrance to Macchu Picchu. Daylight was just fading to pale blue behind the mountains surrounding me. It felt great to push myself hard up a mountainside again. It had been awhile,

Once we got into the park, people started running ahead like maniacs to the other side of the park to the other entrance to Wayna Picchu, which only allows 400 people a day. Once we had secured a place in line to hike up to Macchu Picchu, I took some time to walk around for some early morning photos before the park got filled with other tourists.

The morning had closed in quickly with cloud cover. The sun shown brightly through the clouds, and as it rose above the mountains on the eastern edge of the valley a single tendril of light reached down to Macchu Picchu for a few minutes.

Once we got our tickets to hike Wayna Picchu later that morning, our 25 year old Peruvian guide, Juan, took us around to show us the city. He highlighted the significance of certain parts of the city, its architecture, and its temples. I estimate I missed a fair amount of what he was saying, since it was all in spanish, but I rathered to stumble through understanding his perfect spanish, than have him struggle to explain himself in broken english. Without seeing this place, explaining much of it isn't that interesting. To see it in person is awing. People always talk about how the rocks line up perfectly, with no gaps whatsoever, and this is true where the most attention was paid, at the temples. All of the temples at Macchu Picchu were essentially built to worship some aspect of the earth that the ancient civilation was grateful for. The earth that nurtured them was their god, and the attention they paid at reflecting nature in their designs and rituals was very acute.

Later, we climbed up to Wanya Picchu, and from there the view was amazing. Macchu Picchu looked like some sand castle inlaid with moss and small rocks. We sat up there for awhile taking in the view, but all in all this was a very different experience for me.

I think this was the first time I have been to a place that is one of the wonders of the world for its natural splendor as well is its human heritage. Given time alone up there, I would have sat for hours observing the place, but as it was, teaming with other tourists, I felt no need to sit and dwell. There were a group of people sitting in a circle in one of the temples up on Wayna Picchu. In some circumstances I could have felt myself doing that, but it wasn't the same. I knew going into it that I would be surrounded by other people who may have very varied reasons to be up there. So, I went up there to try and take in as much of the awesome history and beauty this place has to offer, and enjoy it for that.

Sitting upon Wayna Picchu as I looked at the surrounding valley, mountains, and Macchu Picchu below, I felt a solid pleasure in this civilization's legacy. I found it very enheartening to witness the labor that must have taken lifetimes to build. I saw it as the devout result of an understanding by another human culture that realized there was something much greater than their life, their culture, their humanity. Granted, the work was most likely performed by slaves or the poor of the culture, and there were no doubt many darker sides of this culture that this beautiful relic doesn't depict, but this will be true for anything regarding humanity, be it 2000 years ago, today, or far into the future.

2 comments:

Pam Croom said...

I've never had the privilege of seeing this in person, but photos never get old or cease to amaze. That must be a hallmark of true grander.

Great pictures. You are very lucky!

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