Sunday, February 5

not even half

In this desert are preserved traces of an ancient road along which Marco Polo passed six centuries before I did: its markers are piles of stones. Just as I had heard in a Tibetan gorge the interesting drum-like roar which had frightened our first pilgrims, so in the desert during the sandstorms I also saw and heard the same as Marco Polo: "The whisper of spirits calling you aside" and the queer flicker of the air, an endless progression of whirlwinds, caravans, and armies of phantoms coming to meet you, thousands of spectral faces in their incorporeal way pressing upon you, through you, and suddenly dispersing...When the great explorer was dying, his friends gathered by his bedside and implored him to reject what in his book had seemed incredible to them - to water down its miracles by means of judicious deletions; but he responded that he had not recounted even a half of what he had in fact seen.

- from Vladimir Nabokov's The Gift, quoted in TIBET Through the Red Box by Peter Sis

Have you ever felt like that? That you can't even recount half of what you have seen in some situations, or experiences in your life? Either because you don't know how to recount the experience, how to put it in words, you don't really think it's worth it, or you don't think others will understand?

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