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Showing posts from November, 2019

A Poet's Journal: February 26th, 2015

  February 26th, 2015 How rare to have body and mind on the same page!  It is not easy to do the things we want when we want to; the auspicious moment always seems to grow from inability and our inability from a desire for something more.  Imagination drags us through this lonely field, giving us our tasks, our worries, making the distance around us insufferable.  And so whenever I have something to do, it is very difficult not to get caught up in the imagination of doing it before it is actually done, working through it a hundred times.  I am not speaking of preparation or details here, but the simple idea of a future to come, and what that future might bring, and how we might handle that--this is the imagination, this is the gateless gate, firmly shut and too defiantly high to look over; this is the gate that never was nor ever has been a gate.  Yet it is richly adorned and so much a part of our inability that it seems better to look at and keep closed rather than pass right through

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