Samadhi Eco Resort: Travellers' Talking Story-Jack Woodman

In the Andes of Chile, amongst the Araucaria forests, where the sun and the moon circle Llaima like the frail holes of banished comets and the sound is of stillness all of the time is Conguillío. The way the people here speak of it is like an almost dance with time’s memory. Yet, to be a visitor to this place is to be pulled alarmingly into the present with the stark clarity of a windless moment. I feel this sitting on a rock as the others swim in the wine-dark lake off and behind. Around me the mountains are the broken spine spikes of some long dormant dragon's tail tracing the lakes edge and my breath falls out of me in the rhythm of a small soulful bird.

There is something quite ineffable that is only really found in these places. Where the brilliant white silence lays across the land the way leaves lay in a shimmer after rain. Few things in life truly capture the uniqueness of silence like Conguillío. It is a strange thing that silence. It pulls at you the way night follows day, not with a sudden change but a slow red to dark rinsing. From a place thought erased, finished and out, but now still there. I love that quietness on that rock where a sense of autumn unbroken sits still in the air and the shadows are like two echoes dancing towards any faint light like moths.

And as we head back to Samadhi the day’s waste lay red in the westness and across the sky on the other side is a rising thin cut of moon pulled from the ground like a marionette on a string and it seems swinging… dangling, an opaque sliver of pearlshell pendant. Perhaps it will be dark early that night as the clouds quilted softly gray in the air and the bark husks of the araucaria trees soak in the early moon. That same silence presses ever slowly forward in an ale colour across the land and it seeps in and through our thoughts where it lays like a curl of it blown. Travellers talk in story and the silence of Conguillío speaks. We listen and rest.