Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pondering Peru



There are two ways to learn: like a carnivore, tearing off great chunks of knowledge and gulping them down; or like an herbivore, chewing slowly and deliberately and ruminating at great length.

Lately I favor the latter. I like to take one concept, even a sentence or a word, and mull over it all day, while I am driving or waiting somewhere, not forced to use my brain for something else.

Today it was this:

Callejon de Huaylas.

To any knowledgeable Peruvian, it is probably quite familiar. To me, it was unknown until Marie Arana wrote of this place in the October National Geographic, as part of Her lucid and beautiful essay on the great South American continent.

Callejon de Huaylas, She writes, is a verdant canyon that cuts through two mountain ridges ... and is the cradle of one of the earliest known civilizations of Peru, the Chavin.

If I had a magic lamp, I might be a nice guy and wish for world peace but I would also wish for a thousand years of life and a wallet that never emptied, so that I could travel to every country in the world, from the tundra to the burning desert and see every city, every forest, every beach, every mountain and every canyon.

I would walk through Callejon de Huaylas, too, and meditate on the Chavin, and enjoy the South American sunshine on my face.

Above is that beautiful place, from enjoyperu.com

2 comments:

...Kat said...

"There are two ways to learn: like a carnivore, tearing off great chunks of knowledge and gulping them down; or like an herbivore, chewing slowly and deliberately and ruminating at great length."

...... I like that


There's not enough time... I need a couple of lifetimes.

eastcoastdweller said...

Kat, I daydream about somehow acquiring the time and means to spend five years here, five years there, everywhere in the world -- to learn every language, taste every food, feel the bite of the winter wind in Mongolia and be showered by monsoon rains in India, listen to the storytellers of Africa while hyenas howl in the distance and kneel silently in a Shinto temple somewhere in Japan.