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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: January 19th, 2014

January 19th, 2014

That I have been insensible to my surroundings would concern me more if I did not overlook them with the sort of scrutiny similar to one who is in a position to let them go.  This mature reservation to be impressed by those things I was inept to rely upon, and take for word what had not been experienced, nor submitted to any critical evaluation, has brought forth a realization, that over some point in these last few months, my life has changed, and I am no longer the one I used to know.  Should I search no more and be content with this truth, though for most it would hardly be satisfactory, would nonetheless be a reason to stay on guard against the discriminations of my recent and melancholic error of loving poetry too much.
For I cannot help but see this as being much deplored, and forever in the wrong, until that moment the result coincides with the perfect expression of our reality, and all of our shortcomings and all of our insensitivities become a quick sigh of…

A Poet's Journal: January 9th, 2014

January 9th, 2014

All existing things change and we wonder what is real.  Is it what we see in front of us?  That which we believe?  That which is rare or incredible?  It is often that what seems to have the least reality ends up defining our sternest belief.  The exotic animal, a foreign landscape, anything that is outside of what we understand as normal, is to us the missing link for what is and should be.  Anything new, anything most recent in time, that is the truth by which the world must move; and though we do not prescribe to all of it, and in some cases prefer that which is old and ancient, there is nonetheless an indescribable desire for what is unique.  And yet it is only through this unique creativity that disdain comes from what is different--for reality, at last, is the recognition of what is outside of us, and there is the terrible misfortune that through all things we recognize ourselves.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: December 11th, 2013

December 11th, 2013

The sharpness of reality is never the kindness we make it out to be: once found in the habit of our surroundings, it languishes, changing that which was thought unchangeable.  Sometimes we fall asleep; sometimes our eyes are only closed; and still at others, we awake in the night to find that it was only a dream.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: December 4th, 2013

December 4th, 2013


The Meditations of Aurelius and the Essais of Montaigne have, for the last couple years, been my entrance into the world of awakening.  Not often do I finish a sentence--and more than likely in the middle of one--than my mind goes wandering forth through the faint realities of ancient times, not as I believe them to have been, but as they will one day be fulfilled.  I know but very little of what they truly speak, and cannot recite anything by the product of memory, but the smallest suggestion from even the most meaningless word, should it come at the right time, is enough to clarify the rest of their thought.  When it comes to this, we find there is little that needs to be said from the pages of a hundred books, and true understanding may be the offspring of a casual thought; but were it not to exist, then neither would the visions of a perceptive mind, and also our need of holding on to it.
Douglas Thornton