Thursday, July 12, 2012

Digging into stone (III)

We lacked entertainment up here at 3,000 meters altitude. One of our engineers had brought a deck of cards with him yet I’ve already grown sick of all these parties playing cards. The guy even started to read horoscopes from the cards as he was mumbling something about gypsies while defining the number 8 in combination with a queen of hearts. He was clicking with his tongue every time he realized a new meaning disclosed under his very eyes. This was happening every two evenings in a small tent intended to cover one half of our small expedition. I decided to change tents after the first evening. 
In the other tent I read books dealing with the problem of metal materials in the mountains. We all know that gold is to be found deep below in the galleries. They started in ancient times to dig for the gold in the stones. Some in the US combed the rivers, but let’s focus on the mountains. So while I was reading this book on the Art of Gold Digging, at 3,000 meters above sea level, thinking or rather blackdreaming of men wearing sharp hats on their heads and digging with shovels into loose stone to uncover gold, I understood that bergmetal maybe only existed in my head. All of a sudden my heart muscles cramped and the chambers threatened to narrow. Dangerously narrow. I screamed of angst. Has the whole expedition only started its doleful course because of a crazy idea of mine? My heart pushed hard against the skin. Can we really find bergmetal or just a material I had mistaken for it? Only because I want to find it, my fingers should feel the touch of cold bergmetal. 

Anne Burgess [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The tasty muffy smells of stones when I arranged them for my grandparents to acknowledge my first demonstrations of natural history. I used a room under the rooftop for installing a museum of geology and paleontology, temporarily. There were fossils and minerals, besides stones from Icelandic volcanoes. My father brought some stones with holes from there. He journeyed as lone wanderer through the Land of Fire and Ice. Postcards reached my mom’s mailbox and so the children’s ears. Definitely I remember the adventures. When winds had destroyed his tent and had blown it away so he had to ask around with local peasants to sleep in their haystocks. 

All the memories appeared in the mountain night on the tenth day of our small expedition to gain some bergmetal specimen. Outside was cold, inside the tent as well but I wrapped myself up in a warm sleeping-bag. We planned to reach a lower peak of a whole peak chain. On the left and right slopes of the peak we expected chasms in which bergmetal reservoirs might be found. Still there was not enough material to base a decent research on. Only problem was that the region we were climbing was exposed to heavily capricious weather changes. Today we could walk in sunshine and tomorrow in snowfall and storm. The stones only answered in silence. 
We reduced our talks when we tried to scale the protruding noses and bushy eyebrows in rock. The mountain throws back any echo thousandfold. Surrounded by stones, we felt isolated and so we continued to reach our next mark. All around alone, only the expedition brought some human life into this rather indifferent world. This was the world-without-us reaching me through the night. Could discern some voices in the rolling stones and howling winds through all the mountain nights. Long ago when our earth was shaped by heat eruptions and seismic movements, the stones screamed out. Yet I don’t believe that the element bergmetal was already created back then. Rather it was a newer sidetrack of evolution. One of my assistants suggested bergmetal to be some cultural facet in urban civilization. Couldn’t agree because that seemed quite far-fetched to me. Bergmetal is to be found in nature. The expedition will deliver evidence. After sunbreak the piledriver will drill into stones to tear out bergmetal. I recall a German saying: Im Berg ruhet geborgen das Metall im Schall. Echoes can lead us to this element which is resting in the berg. By violence the geologists enter the inner realm below. In Windischeschenbach (Germany) a Continental Drilling Program (KTB) tried to reach the core of our planet and the machine mines minerals from kilometres beneath the surface. Be sure the coming wars will revolve around resources. Bergmetal can be an element freely distributable and renewable as it is located in the highest of heights. Yet would that geologically mean that it was of rather new origin?

You can buy this postal card at: / keyword: Rumänien

„Mister, we oughta leave now.“
Shit! This cannot be! Overslept ... on an expedition trip where I am supposed to lead. Holy Mother Moses! I mumbled yes yes coming coming, pushing the sleeping-bag away and not really jumping up. In a split second hastened to dress me in half-lying, half-sitting position still in the tent. When I left the tent there was some embarrassing applause by the team. Yoho! Boss! We’re ready to fly! Some members even put their fingers in the mouths to whistle. I waved to my assistant professor of geology and asked him about the weather changes and if we can estimate the smooth running of our today’s route. He shrugged his shoulders and added: Yes surely we can achieve some altitude as of today. The team seems to be really up-to-strength and he calculated the majesty of the places we’re crossing. Now you don’t really know what majesty could be in matters of scientific categories. We both found out that bergmetal needs some element of majesty in its constitution. So most likely at impressing places bergmetal as a pure element can be found. However, what shape does bergmetal actually show when it is unearthed from mountainside? We are anxious to experience it. 
The team members knew I had worked until late at night and so they excused my oversleeping. Some guys continued to giggle a bit while we were pushing the mules upwards. As a breeze came up the guys muted. For breakfast I couldn’t eat anything as I was expecting some turn in our expedition soon. The closer we got to the peak of the mountains somewhere here, the better the chances of extracting enough material for our studies. Strongly do I believe that bergmetal must be some kind of metallic stone – maybe glimmering like an anthracite. 
As of now, I don’t know in what layer bergmetal resides. In the highest bed is to exclude from rational argumentation as it has taken some time to develop. 

Anyway, if we follow the reasoning of my assistant, bergmetal is also a cultural fact. So searching for it in the mountains would be a hardly sensible thing to do. On the contrary, I still believed it lay in rest in rock. Strangely enough, the colloquial term for it appeared in a dream one night and I was already known in the scientific world as Stig Olsdal, a specialist in dubious surfaces. When there was reasonable doubt about a sediment or layer what it could bear inside, I was called upon. Don’t misunderstand my task. 
Naturally, any geology professor could work on the location as he or she was efficiently trained to handle the tools and to be an expert in the history of our earth. Yet I was expected to clarify haunted soils. There were several cases in the United States when old Native American trails seemed to be still haunted by some spirit and I was expected to demystify the place and then extract the specimen for further investigations. Some minerals are believed to hold special powers in ancient myths. So I was trained both in geology and folklore. As in the specific case of bergmetal I nurtured the notion of an elementary resource in the mountainworld. 
As for now I should really focus on the ascent of the mountain. Readily I will elaborate on the cultural facts of bergmetal next time. Just now I heard some screams of surprise from the avantgarde section. I better rush forward to ... later.

Apparently there were no interruptions this time. This blog can only rely on the texts being delivered to the editors here. We have no means to double-check the suppositions made here. It is at the reader's discretion.

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