Looking at this picture I have just lately taken of this waterfall
can't be compared with looking at my earlier picture
of this waterfall
or with being at the waterfall itself,
the philosopher king mused.
At the bottom, you get covered in spray and the rocks are slippery.
Looking at the picture of the waterfall,
you miss all this,
you miss the rushing sound of the water,
you miss the thunderous reverberation of the torrent through the gorge,
you miss the rainbow colours and halos and the diaphanous light,
you miss the delirious sensation of being enveloped in the cascade,
you miss the vertiginous feeling of being tumbled headfirst into the chasm,
you miss the delicious feeling of the foamy backwash upon your body,
you miss the euphoric impression of a water spirit world whooshing and swooshing about you,
though of course if you've actually been there
and experienced all these things
even just the once
you can later summon them up in memory
and while that is not as good as the real thing,
said the philosopher king to himself,
it is something.
see: A.J.P Crown: Two Waterfalls at A Bad Guide
Takakkaw Falls, Yoho National Park, Alaska: photos by Frank Kowalchek, 2009