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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 knitted woo…

A Poet's Journal: September 3rd, 2013

September 3rd, 2013


A gray day or a colorful tree is somehow more sacred to my vision because it no longer relies upon the sun to illuminate our thoughts, but whatever has entered and formed our memories, it brings to a hidden relation with the earth.  For we are no longer bearers of the sun, but approach the dark universe with a silence that has fulfilled a journey we knew long ago.  But we are now just setting out and the clouds and the falling leaves are a tale that we must tell again.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: August 30th, 2013

August 30th, 2013

On the 27th I began taking notice of the acorns; for we may see them early enough in the season, but the first few that fall to the ground come as unexpectedly and bring as much joy as if I had relied on them for sustenance.  They are now no longer nourishment but for he who has an appetite for reflection, while to life they are a figure, as I pass in regards to their appearance and their fading away, thinking that somehow their coming to maturity is a reason to feel more divine, but this in the end is unfulfilling. The blackberry bush I ate from on the 9th of July now has a sickly look to it and its berries have begun to dry out.  In spite of this, the harvest has already been enough for us to make a pie, yet I am hoping that the next few days will bring an even greater abundance and find me among them with cheer and industriousness.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: July 15th, 2013

July 15th, 2013

We say that a little attention is difficult to buy these days, but I wonder if it were not so at any other time.  There is nothing new in forgetfulness and our outward and glaring looks always come from the inside, so that before our attention has focused on something new, we are left to consider what other cause might give us satisfaction.  Yet what it is that we forget has led us into a position where our values and our beliefs are the ruling factors in what we give credit to, and what, in the end, holds our interest.  Attention, or attending to something, is no longer the care we give to it, to bring it within our well-being, but what must already be there for us to attend, giving faith to what is established, though it is only a seeming place of security.  There is but silence before us, and no applause, no cheering, no glory for he whom, artist or not, asks for a moment of attention in light of the care he has given to his own thought.
Douglas Thornton