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Showing posts from April, 2020

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 19th, 2014

September 19th, 2014 Samdo 3875m. Yesterday was a rest day.  We took a short side-trip to Birendra Tal, a glacial lake on the trail up to Manaslu Base Camp.  On our way there we passed a Gumpa where  an old lady was drying yak meat on a blanket near the door.  Inside was a statue of Guru Rinpoche, the man who brought Buddhism to Tibet in the 8th century, perhaps along the same trails we are on now.  There was also another young woman who had a child that was crying hysterically--only later did we find out it was because of our presence.  Near the lake we had a marvelous view of the glacier higher up and could hear the cracking and grinding movements of the ice.  All around us were mountains of up to 8000 meters and the silence was so profound that between the few words we exchanged with our companion, the sound of avalanches echoed throughout the valley. Short walk today; the altitude tires one quickly.  Samdo is perched on an eminence above Larkya Bazar, a place where a sea

Nepalese Notebook: September 17th, 2014

September 17th, 2014 Samagaun 3550m. Clear morning; Lho was as a spring day in the sunshine of the early hours, and everything that seemed untouchable yesterday was for a moment understandable, creating once more another aspect to our journey.  There was a strange feeling of confidence all around, and it seemed that wherever we were going that day, was indeed the one and only thing that mattered to anyone who crossed our path, and most importantly, to us.  Manaslu Himal (8165m.) and Manaslu North (7157m.), covered in the whitest snow, were visible for the first time, along with many other unknown peaks, showing us what our trail had yet to encounter, and proving still that we had much more to climb. We visited the Ribung Gompa on the way out of Lho, a Buddhist Monastery, and were greeted with hellos from the monks who were busy making repairs far away in another building up the hillside.  A young attendant monk waited on us and showed what buildings we could look into and