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Nepalese Notebook: September 8th, 2014

September 8th, 2014

Chitwan

Chitwan: the Nepalese Terai, the land of the Tharu.  These are the lowlands of the Himalaya, a vast jungle filled with rhinos, tigers, and crocodiles, interspersed with the irrigated fields of the natives.  From Kathmandu it is a 5 hours bus ride along narrow and sometimes precipitous roads in which the drivers take every advantage of passing one another regardless of blind curves or the stories of overturned buses only days before.  And yet the driving is not reckless; for when you see your driver passing another bus without any hope of gauging a head-on collision, you are able to find in his unshakeability a small comfort, knowing that the danger he has put you in, he may now save you from, as he swerves back with amazing dexterity only seconds before another bus would have brought upon your ruin. This is only one of the shocks though; the city of Kathmandu itself holds more than one could ever imagine; danger becomes no more than an inability to understan…
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A Poet's Journal: August 25th, 2014

August 25th, 2014


The early fall of chestnuts and hazelnuts before the blackberries have turned ripe....  Even in the midst of solitude, surrounded by forest and mountain, time is our greatest constraint.  The further we walk the longer is the return and the wrong path means a wasted day.  It is not that we are burdened by our everyday affairs when doing other things, but that we are guided under a different mask to the same duration.  I walk in the woods as I walk in the street and only take note of trees as if they were passing cars.  The one has not polluted the other, but the source of the pollution is unified through me, and until that habit is broken, everything will always be the same.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: August 23rd, 2014

August 23rd, 2014


Sometimes we recognize the problem squarely in front of us, but take hold of it awkwardly; or sometimes we hold with a genuine hand that which needed not our guidance; and of the many other ways we may circle around the matter, it all comes down to aligning our perception with our intelligence, thereby forcing the former to perceive something that we have made ourselves believe, finding the solution inexistent, but nonetheless created by our own troubles.  Certainly problems exist and certainly solutions as well, but there is a point at which the mind is dulled and goaded into drudgery by them.  This derangement becomes a romantic illusion, which seems enviable and necessary to take after if we are to attain a somewhat unattainable goal--it is never taken for the stale nature it turns out to be.  For this very reason, confusion is cultivated because it is exciting and yields a chance to bring order, whereon solution becomes an end and not a means to create.
Douglas Th…

A Poet's Journal: July 21st, 2014

July 21st, 2014

When to persist and when to back down?  This is a question forever out of our grasp, yet constantly forcing us to reconsider our actions.  It is certainly a wonder why we have taken for granted the underlying meaning that both of them encompass: that of competition.  But we are born into this mindset, and feel that life means nothing unless it is based upon the value of win or loss, even though ultimately, in such terms, it must end with the latter.  The truth is, the question should be deferred and deferred again until we can no longer assume that it is our position in the race that matters, nor even how we get there, but that the drifting in and out of our current state of affairs is the only thing that is absolutely undeniable, and the only thing that is an eventual release to a perturbed mind.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: July 11th, 2014

July 11th, 2014

There is a certain pleasure in being confounded; for it is not through the process of thinking that we come to our conclusion, nor is it a shot in the dark, but the clarification comes offhandedly.  
Aristotle had said that memory was founded upon relation and that something forgotten could only be remembered through a long series of opposites connecting, like cold to hot or wet to dry; and however far we felt ourselves from the 'right' answer, our erring was essential in bringing forth the reality sought.  We can see of course how burdened the mind becomes, and how easily indifferent it makes itself when squirming about as such, but nonetheless we must feel occupied and fool ourselves into doing something, with the belief that we control the appearing and the vanishing of every little thought.  
The fact is, the quieter the mind the more open it becomes and gives to our confusion a creative aspect that is not involved in our running around against every questi…