Composer Brian Eno was once asked why his ambient music wasn’t new age music. He said because it contains doubt. I’m not a particular fan of Eno but it was a poignant remark. If you want a warm bubble bath experience don’t listen to Eno. If you want passive escapism watch soap opera, not read Fyodor Dostoevsky.

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt” said Bertrand Russell. You do relax and escape in the mountains but with an invigorating quality you don’t find on a Grecian beach. It seems to me there’s psychology built around Eno’s remark. The edifices of society are built around denying doubt and never admitting wrong. Yet being wrong is inherent in every breath we take. Being wrong is inherent in (so called) politics, in the belief systems we call religion because belief changes nothing. Your consciousness is exactly the same when you believe in a fantastical after life, or if you do not.

Historically we built and retreated into cities because of the security they provide and the advantages of work, culture, health, learning, companionship. They are however a kind of falsity. You find doubt in the mountains which makes this apparent.

The pine fragrance here is lovely. It’s one of two locations where I particularly enjoy it, and this is the best. The other place is the high valley trail leading towards Respomuso with the GR11 below you, leading down to a village called Sallent de Gallego. In 2009 I enjoyed this pine fragrance. In 2013 I walked up the valley from Sallent de Gallego. About two hours from here you reach the French village of Gavarnie which was the end of my 2014 trip.

At this point I’ve edited around ninety photographs. I view them sequentially then view them again. What usually happens is I notice five, possibly ten more shots I initially overlooked. This is one of them.


Pyrenees Mountains: Ossoue Valley Cloud

Wednesday December 3, 2014