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The Elusive Nature of Soul

The more you talk about soul, the further you get from it. The more you write about it, the more elusive it becomes. The more you think about it, the more ineffable it is.

Peter Shelton, when I told him a year ago that I was writing a story on the conflict over the soul of Telluride, said, “You’ll fail.” At first disheartened, then challenged, I came to understand he was right. As a student of the deeper rhythms of skiing and a longtime Telluride local, Peter knew that soul was a slippery thing to capture and that everyone who’d ever been to or lived in Telluride measured soul differently. It was almost by definition indefinable.

So why bother? Why spend countless hours in Telluride and on the phone conducting interviews? Why send five writers to the far corners of North America? Why devote an entire issue to the pursuit of soul?

Because there is nothing more important. Because when you strip away ego and artifice, soul is what’s left. Because soul is the foundation, the passion, and the commitment of body, mind, and spirit in the pursuit of pure experience. Because soul is life, skiing is life, and life is the sweetest thing we have.

First published in Powder Magazine, issue 20.2, October 1991. Copyright Steve Casimiro 2001. All rights reserved.

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