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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: September 3rd, 2013

September 3rd, 2013


A gray day or a colorful tree is somehow more sacred to my vision because it no longer relies upon the sun to illuminate our thoughts, but whatever has entered and formed our memories, it brings to a hidden relation with the earth.  For we are no longer bearers of the sun, but approach the dark universe with a silence that has fulfilled a journey we knew long ago.  But we are now just setting out and the clouds and the falling leaves are a tale that we must tell again.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: August 30th, 2013

August 30th, 2013

On the 27th I began taking notice of the acorns; for we may see them early enough in the season, but the first few that fall to the ground come as unexpectedly and bring as much joy as if I had relied on them for sustenance.  They are now no longer nourishment but for he who has an appetite for reflection, while to life they are a figure, as I pass in regards to their appearance and their fading away, thinking that somehow their coming to maturity is a reason to feel more divine, but this in the end is unfulfilling. The blackberry bush I ate from on the 9th of July now has a sickly look to it and its berries have begun to dry out.  In spite of this, the harvest has already been enough for us to make a pie, yet I am hoping that the next few days will bring an even greater abundance and find me among them with cheer and industriousness.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: July 15th, 2013

July 15th, 2013

We say that a little attention is difficult to buy these days, but I wonder if it were not so at any other time.  There is nothing new in forgetfulness and our outward and glaring looks always come from the inside, so that before our attention has focused on something new, we are left to consider what other cause might give us satisfaction.  Yet what it is that we forget has led us into a position where our values and our beliefs are the ruling factors in what we give credit to, and what, in the end, holds our interest.  Attention, or attending to something, is no longer the care we give to it, to bring it within our well-being, but what must already be there for us to attend, giving faith to what is established, though it is only a seeming place of security.  There is but silence before us, and no applause, no cheering, no glory for he whom, artist or not, asks for a moment of attention in light of the care he has given to his own thought.
Douglas Thornton