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Showing posts from September, 2019

Nepalese Notebook: September 21st, 2014

September 21st, 2014
Bhimtang 3800m. by Larkya La Pass 5160m.
You close the metal door of your stone hut in blank wet darkness; a few hours later you wake in darkness again, but the door opens on a vast expanse of stars and the horned moon descending to the peaks of the mountains.  Space and the all-encompassing universe feel not so far away; the difference is realization.  The weather had calmed, no wind was blowing, and the silence of morning and breakfast began ringing in the dinner hall.  The keeper was there, no worse for the wear, and all were speaking of the fine day with eagerness and angst.


We left at dawn, and by the time we reached the moraine of Larkya Glacier, where there rested a beautiful jade-like pool of absolutely still water, the sun was shining brilliantly on the high summits.  The snow that had fallen the night before brought the good fortune this morning of showing us the tracks of a snow leopard which had followed our trail until just after the pass, leaving its …

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…

A Poet's Journal: June 30th, 2014

June 30th, 2014

A 4-day hike in the Basque Mountains

Lying low upon the ground, breathing in the night air, and awakening to a slight chill, though it is the middle of summer, is enough for the body to regain its vitality.  It would be easy here for the mind to leave its thoughts to the scattered mist, but even if we tell ourselves that an unfettered freedom lies before us upon the trail, there is always something of our nagging and mundane lives following.  The contrast is too simple for us not to notice, and instead of feeling enlivened by it, there is the realization that we have not yet broken free from it all, but neither have we decided what we want to break free from.
A constellation arose on the door of our tent at night, and following it, the first rays of sun spread through our damp affairs with the enduring scent of heat--all of it though matters not unless one can see the place and the meaning it gives to his onward movements.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: June 9th, 2014

June 9th, 2014

What seems beneficial to us and our lifestyle often degenerates into the morbid condition of an all too simple belief that what we have found is the sole means for our survival.  It is like the frog who one day jumped into the ditch of water, diving to its depths and basking upon the edges, but little saw the sun shrink its new-found paradise everyday.  Though perhaps it could notice the changes in its surroundings, for some unknown reason it refused to leave, until it found itself one beautiful morning stuck in the mud.  All of us find ourselves up to our chins before we realize we should make a move, and even then, perhaps, never do.  Today I happened to find this little frog shriveled and dried up in its ditch.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: June 2nd, 2014

June 2nd, 2014

A rock shelter--cold rain and fog had turned the landscape into something so pleasingly strange, that though I know most of these paths and slopes, it could not keep me from being lightheartedly curious in my way, and drove me towards trickling creeks and hidden gullies, forever devoid of the same luster in fine weather.  The season is not real today, and where I sit now, as the silence echoes off these carved walls and birds land at the foot of the cave, is a moment unpassing.  Here, somehow, lives the ancient truth that things change independent of time.
Douglas Thornton