09 March 2014

Nietzsche on the No. 1 Line track

When I came around the corner just above the Stinkhorn Step, Nietzsche was sitting beside the track with his head in his hands.
   "Cheer up," I said, "it's not far to the top now."
He looked up.
   "Is it hard?" he said.
   "No. Pretty straightforward. There's a steep, slippery bit, but it won't kill you."
He groaned and put his head back in his hands.
   "Buggerit," he said.
   "It's not that bad. You'll get up it easily."
   "No!" he shouted. "What's the use if it's easy? I want adversity! My soul cries out for hardship!
   "Oh, ... I see," I said. 
He looked so downcast at the prospect of not encountering something that might kill him that I thought I should try cheering him up.
   "It's nice at the top. Bitterly cold; showers of sleet. You could get frostbite or hypothermia."
   "Yep. Only the strong survive up there."
He looked a little less despondent. 
   "How long did you stay?" he asked.
   "Didn't even stop," I lied. "Just turned around and got out of there."
   "Hmph." He looked away: the kind of not-looking that people do to dog turds on footpaths.
   "You'll like it up there," I said, not put off by his dog turd not-look. "You get to look out over the world. Everything's beneath you. It's like an eagle's nest."
He grunted something noncommittal, but I could tell he'd started to warm to the idea that freezing to death might be possible. I decided to leave him to make up his mind so he wouldn't think he'd been persuaded by one of the bungled and botched.
   "See you later," I said, and left him muttering into his moustache.

A little further on, I recognised the corner above the Stinkhorn Step. When I rounded it, Nietzsche was sitting there with his head in his hands. He looked up.
   "Are you a demon?" he asked.

Note: Mostly just a bit of fun, based on my rudimentary knowledge of Nietzsche's philosophy. If it perplexes you, this might help, at least with the last bit. 
Photograph: The No. 1 Line track near its beginning. Nietzsche wasn't there when I photographed this—perhaps he was nearer the top in the lousy weather, not being killed.

Photos and original text © 2014 Pete McGregor


Zhoen said...

His sister was his worst demon.

Woke up thinking of Pema Chodron's discussion of demons.

pohanginapete said...

Zhoen, she certainly was. Might have been just as well he never knew what she did with his work later.
Thanks for alerting me to Pema Chodron. I wasn't aware of her.