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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…

A Poet's Journal: April 12th, 2013 Part 2

April 12th, 2013 Part 2

Let it not be inferred that reasoning or any frame of logic be useless; rather, reasoning and logic do not at all times pertain to significance; and if there were a way that something could exist, and constantly catch our eye, so that we were aware of its becoming, though no change to us appeared, we would not need proof to tell us what our eyes had already seen. But before we know it, the truly taxing method of our lives has been prepared: the day becomes divided up according to our or another's need, or the nourishment of mind and body, and then of slumber, and we have not seen anything but the far-fetched and constant repetition of daily life. It is such a strange phrase 'daily life' and so hard to define, yet I think it not too different for any one of us to answer its questions, so much so that our concern almost wholly lies not with its particulars, but with the stress of living up to that phrase alone.  Long ago we had our rituals and sacred…

A Poet's Journal: April 12th, 2013 Part 1

April 12th, 2013 Part 1


I can think of no problem these last few days that does not take all my concern and energy, yet it be no present worry; for it is the intimacy of present concern which is relaxing, though it be ever so troubling.  But I see not in this a resignation to fate, in which case I take for granted every outcome; rather, the amount of time the problem takes is a refuge for importance and the line of action taken, and this is what most consider a job well done. There are, however, choices which occupy a great part of my time, which to most seem no reason to doubt: I have spent half the morning deciding if and when I should take a shower and half the evening preparing a walk that never comes to focus--for it is simply in this kind of world, about these sort of things, that neither decision matters.  It is, of course, only through true moments of clarity that my personal appearance becomes enjoyable. We may weigh every option and cede to any fate, but we all search for, …

A Poet's Journal: March 4th, 2013

March 4th, 2013

Whether we are brave or vulnerable, the world is so.  For it is easy to believe that the earth upon which we stand is a playground for our hearts, but then we are no better than a harsh reply to an honest question posed long ago.  'What do you think?' the earth seems to say when we find a bit of solitude in nature.  And how often do we reply with a description of the trees, the birds, and the flowing creek, and then tell them how we feel; or yet do we run off into some activity in hopes that an answer will soon come upon us, because thinking, at times, seems counterproductive.  But it is here I find that this question comes not from the earth, but me, and my reply, the way the world tries to speak--for it is always in constant reply to us.  The problem, however, is to find out which question we have posed.
Douglas Thornton