This Is Skiing, by Lito Tejada-Flores & Linde Waidhofer

I had another lovely visit to the Isle of Serendip, with the discovery of an e-book, This is Skiing – the Impossible Romance of Sliding Over Snow, by Lito Tejada-Flore & Linde Waidhofer.

This Is Skiing – The Impossible Romance of Sliding Over Snow, by Lito Tejada-Flores & Linde Waidhofer (, 2012

I stumbled upon when searching on-line for tips on skiing in Spring “crud”. This was obviously written by people who are both serious skiers and talented artists – Tejada-Flores, the writer, and Waidhofer, the photographer.

This book really struck a chord with me because the subject is so unusual. It isn’t love poetry and prose about a person, but about skiing. Waidhofer’s photography is impressive and joyful, but to my mind Tejada-Flores has perfectly expressed the observations and the emotions of skiing, and the nature of snow when you ski, in his prose and poetry that accompany the photos. I have never read something so lyrical, yet also direct, about skiing. (One does not, after all, expect sportsmen also to be poets.) His prose is lovely, but his poetry is quite remarkable – simple in form, yet elegantly expressed and touching. I particularly liked Who skis whom? and,

New Season’s Resolutions

Try— to become a beginner once again
Begin— to unlearn techniques one must explain…

How true, and how well said. He has done what all poets and painters strive for – to elicit an echoing response in their viewers or readers.

Reading it all in one sitting was like a headful of the love poems of Pablo Neruda – but the loved one is snow and skiing.  You feel immersed in all the emotions and relive your own moments on the slopes all over again.

Skiing at Sasquatch Resort, BC, Canada (Photo by M.F. O’Brien)
Who skis whom?

So many seasons
riding my skis
round these round
& perfect arcs,
always believing
it was the skier,
not the skis, leaving
such pure marks
on empty snow.
How could I know
skis too have reasons
for the way they move?
For them too a round
& perfect turn
is magic.
In love
with perfect turns
I failed to see
all these years
my skis were skiing me.