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Showing posts from February, 2020

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 14, 2014

September 14th, 2014 Dyang 1860m. The mountains grow and the scenery has taken on a massive aspect; rocks, trees, or the sky, no longer have that habitual feeling but seem to turn the absolute most normal thing into a sacred and almost surreal picture.  We are always repeating: 'This is different...  This is bigger...  This is strange...' but there is really no time to savour any of it, not because we are moving so fast or cannot take our time on the trail, but because we do not realize all of these sights are interior, and before we have tried to cope with them, they have already become a part of our imagination and ideal.  Lunch this afternoon was one of the best we have had so far. Our tea-house tonight is quaint and we are the only visitors.  Here they cook by wood-fire, and smoke from the kitchen fills the whole dining area.  From our table we can see that we are surrounded by high mountains now, but cannot yet see the tops, and to pass the time to evening we l

Nepalese Notebook: September 13th, 2014

September 13th, 2014 Upper Jagat 1340m. The country people are remarkable for their stature and muscle though none of them are very tall.  A boy of no more than 8 or 9 years old came up the trail today carrying a bag of damp sand from the river bottom; it must have been at least 50 pounds and as tall as him because he had to bend over with the tumpline almost perpendicular to the ground to be able to move forward.  Further down we saw the father and another boy filling up more bags to be taken in turn, and these, as we found out, were for house-constructing and repairs.  A woman in the village before, where we stopped for refreshments, spoke in a rather lively tone of voice about how she wanted to have 12 children with her husband, already had 3, and was pushing 31 years old. After we passed the hot springs of Tatopani where we cleansed our hair and face, the more prevalent signs of Tibetan culture began to appear, most notably the women wearing vibrantly coloured aprons of kn