“River deep, mountain high”
Mountain high = symbol for freedom (ask Reinhold Messner), intellect, spirit…
River deep = unconsciousness, dream, life?
Mountains – or walls, or houses in town? – hold you, give you security, strength. I like the “mountains” here –they are just some few 100 meters high – I am looking towards them and not to the sea *smile*
But mountains intimidate you too. Until few hundred years ago people feared from mountains (see: C.F. Ramuz: The Night the Mountain Fell). On the other hand one wants to climb to the summit, which is hard, dangerous and painful, but with the panorama surrounding you it’s always a victory.
In ancient mythology mountains were the house of – the heavenly – gods, take Zeus: He was born in a cave on mountain Olympus, shepherds (the Kuretes) made noise with oat-hooves not to give away the whining of the baby to his father Cronus, who used to kill all his sons.
Later on we had “The Old of the Mountain”, Rashīd ad-Dīn Sinān (Arabic: رشيد الدين سنان), a mystic ruler of secret orders. His emissaries, the assassins, were sent to kill, one day before they secretly used to put scones near the bed of their victims, announcing in this way their coming. It took Genghis Khan, clearly a ruler of wide plains, to finish him off.
Castles are always built on high sites, I remember driving across southern Toscana and Latium, where all the towns were built high on the hill (to avoid the fevers of the marshes, they say, and to breeze the better air of the mountains – take this as a metaphor too, please! J )
In the revolutionary parliament of France you’ll find the expressions “Girondists” and “Montagne”, and that, because the leftists and the club of Jacobins were sitting on high ranks. And where is the left now?