Thursday, December 9, 2004


More bottomless than deep. More fathomless than bottomless. More abyssal than fathomless. Yes, abyssal – the lake was abyssal beneath our raft.

It was night then, and our guide paddled quietly, his handcrafted oar gliding, almost whispering, through the water. The lake’s placid waters flawlessly reflected the moonlight, easily doubling our vision in those dark early hours of the morning - 2:36am according to my watch. But I knew my watch to be suspect, as I had forgotten to which time zone it was set. It mattered little anyhow.

There were three of us crowded onto the raft: the guide – a local I had borrowed from a local village, myself, and a visiting professor called Frum, Frumb, or Frumm. My notes for that day provide little in the way of certainty, as I have him noted as all three on those pages. It was a trying time.

As I peered ahead to the canopy of trees near which we were to land, Professor Frum (I refer to him as such simply because it is one less letter) leaned closer to me and whispered, “The stars,” and he gestured skyward, “the stars are amazing.”

I caught a look from the guide, who had warned us at the beginning of the trip to be completely silent, and I followed the Professor’s finger skyward. The stars were indeed gorgeous, as they always are were at this latitude; huge and bright - twinkling. I turned and smiled at Frum, noting the excitement on his face. I knew, then, that it was his first here.

And I couldn’t help but feel a little sad for him, then.

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