Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2019

A Poet's Journal: October 23rd, 2014

  October 23rd, 2014 It is tempting to believe that in the lives of the past there was never a dull moment.  Take the life of any dead poet and his years seem as minutes, and every great word or sentence that was conceived by him is as if molded into every second of his life.  There is such an ideal that goes along with it, it is hard to believe they ever took the time to cook for themselves, or do housework, or were prey to the mundane emotions of life.  Boredom, I doubt, has evolved over the centuries, but why do we not see it in them?  What makes us believe that we are so lowly we have not yet reached a state of awareness, the kind of which appeared open to the poets of the past?  It is easy to suffer, but harder to turn that suffering into something no one will ever bat an eye at.  Perhaps what we believe of the past is only our unrealized suffering coming into view.  But perhaps it all comes from our trying too hard, of our making the most of each moment; for it is all too much of

Nepalese Notebook: September 9th, 2014

September 9th, 2014 A short walk yesterday evening took us through grassland and along the river Rapti.  When we had proceeded far enough from the habitations, we were met by a black rhino not but 20 meters away, swishing his tail in a rather annoyed manner until he lumbered off to a tiny mud pit into which he sank up to his belly.   There are no boundaries in the jungle and the cries of monkeys in the tops of trees or the crocodiles that distractingly appear and disappear only a few meters away as you float down the river in a dugout, fill the gaze with a very shallow alertness that seems to focus on everything but what one is trying to focus on.  At times, our guide stood up in the canoe to point out a type of kingfisher; at others, he remained seated to let a crocodile pass, but that did not prevent some villagers from cutting fodder along the banks or casting out a net to fish.  The whole scene, instead of being impregnated with simplistic beauty, was out of place, nothing t

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