I’ve started reading ‘Mountains of the Mind’, by Robert MacFarlane, properly (front to back) now I’ve got the time. One of the joys of less demands is always getting to books I want to read. If I told you it’s a history of mountaineering, my hunch is anyone who’s idea of getting to the top of somewhere is via the escalator will switch off. However, it’s sub-title is ‘a history of a fascination’ and it is a brilliant book. OK I do love mountains and I am psyching up for Nepal, but even so!
MacFarlane himself says ‘it isn’t really a history of mountaineering at all, in fact, but a history of the imagination.’ That really grabbed me because of our Imagine… the shapes of church to come. He talks about how we ‘read landscapes’…. 'our responses to them are for the most part, culturally devised’ … ‘we interpret their forms in the light of our experience and memory’…. ‘what we call a mountain is in fact a collaboration of the physical forms of the world with the imagination of humans – a mountain of the mind.’
I didn’t realise it was about the church too!