finds peace, spirituality after loss of beloved grandfather
ROCK - There is something spiritual about the mountains in the Alps
near Slovenia and the only way Richard Manson can describe it is
in reference to "Dzil Biyiin."
43, has been living in Slovenia since August. Slovenia is part of
Yugoslavia but Manson said that 12 years ago the country went independent
after the collapse of the Yugoslav Federation.
painter and sculptor, he moved there after being invited to teach.
His curiosity about the country increased his decision to move there.
east of Italy," Manson said in a telephone interview. "I've
been here off and on for four years. It has been a journey."
half of Slovenia is mountainous. The Alps, the Julian and Savinja
ranges run along the northwest border of the country. Slovenia's
highest peak is Triglav with an elevation of 2,864 meters (9,396
climbed to the top of Triglav on Oct. 2, 2003.
couldn't sleep that night," he said. "I felt like I was
near the spirits. I never experienced anything like this before."
said he felt like he was close to the Creator.
almost as if you were in connection with a spirit," he said.
"That's where I began thinking about the word 'Diné'
and what it means. My grandfather, Big Mountain Begay, shared a
strong story about 'Dzil Biyiin.'
you climb you experience a certain energy," Manson said. "I'm
not even sure where to begin. The mountain has a really strong effect.
a greater purpose for the Diné on this earth."
from such mountains and the atmosphere, the health shortcomings
of the Navajo people were more obvious.
I came home in July I surprised to see that most people are overweight,"
he said. "They are struggling and they are not able to move.
struggling to move like they are disabled. That was shocking for
me. That's why I say there's a greater purpose for the Diné."
March 25 Manson began an attempt to climb to the top of Mount Everest,
dubbed the highest point in the world. The elevation of the peak
is 29,035 feet. He started at the south slope in Nepal. He said
the climb would take a month.
plans to gradually go higher in elevation to increase his endurance.
late April, he plans to reach the summit.
going to take a month because I have to adjust to the altitude because
the air is thinner," Manson said. "I'm going to gradually
prepare to adjust to the altitude. I'm physically prepared.
feel like I've never been this prepared before," he said about
his physical condition. "I feel like I'm in my twenties."
love for rock climbing began when he moved to Slovenia. He said
the horizon is rugged with jagged mountains.
home we don't have mountains this big," he said.
is originally from Hard Rock, Ariz. He is Tl'izilani (Many Goats
Clan), born for Ta'néészahnii (Badlands Clan). His
chei is Deeschiinii (Start of the Red Streaked People Clan) and
his nali is Taachii'nii (Red Running into Water Clan). His mother
is Dora Manson from Hard Rock and his father is Joe Manson of Tuba
late grandfather, Big Mountain Begay, predicted Manson's current
day he said you would be in a place of high mountains and a lot
of water," Manson chuckled. "We were in a cornfield when
he said that. I was looking around and thought, 'There's no water
died in the spring of 2002. Manson fell into a depression and moved
away. He chose to live in solitude.
didn't call home for about two years," Manson said. "I
know that worried my mom. I just came home one day out of the blue."
climbing was his form of therapy.
a different lifestyle, a different way of life," Manson said.
"I couldn't deal with how fast my lifestyle changed."
with rock climbing his focus on life was restored.
moment became a ceremony," he said about rock climbing. "That's
how strong it is, the feeling you get when you're on top.
never knew the meaning of the word freedom," Manson said. "Now
after experiencing all of this I know what the word means. The mountains
have strong positive effects. In a way I feel like I was deteriorating
when I started going to the mountains it took my sickness away,"
plans to return home in July to visit his family. He also plans
to sit with a medicine man and share the experiences he felt from
is very strong," said Manson. "I don't know where or how
to begin speaking of the energy I felt. When I climb Mount Everest
I won't see it as a challenge. I'll see it as a ceremonial thing