I started skiing on Friday — for the first time ever — in Jackson Hole, WY and, happily, did not die. In fact, it might be said, I shredded. It might also be said, I shredded at a very moderate level.
Something I enjoy about skiing is despite the encumbrances of privilege — the many layers of Goretex and fleece, the mythos of apres-ski, neon colors and snow white skin — it does feel very pure when you're doing it. All of skiing, as far as I can tell, can be distilled from the toe equivalent of Fingerspitzengefuhl, though not in a Rommelian way. That though skiing carries with it vast socio-economic implications, the sport can be reduced to tiny and deeply personal micro-movements and weight distribution between ones toe, ones boot, ones mountain.
But, of course, like most sports, one travels great distances and endures great danger to travel deeper into oneself. As the Franco-Swiss-cum-Arab explorer Isabelle Eberhardt wrote before she died in Ain Sefra in 1904, "For me it seems that by advancing into unknown territories, I enter into my life."
So here I am, wearing second hand very large ski gear, entering into my own life.