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Showing posts from November, 2019

A Poet's Journal: February 13th, 2015

  February 13th, 2015 Aiako Harria yesterday, first time this year; overtaken by the beauty.  It is at about this time along the hillsides and in the thickets that the brown of the end of winter starts mixing with the green of the beginning of spring. But an outing like this, though refreshing, can do nothing for the interior state of mind when one is tired and helpless; it only offers a slight reprieve, but we are back again, missing it: the sights, the sounds, the smell of the forest--somehow it only adds to the misfortune.  It is difficult to wander along the thin trails because we have built up a reason and an inspiration for our coming; there is a goal, a new plant to find; something to be attained, a new path to take.  All the expectation dies with each step, and yet it is still beautiful, still appealing, still the key to some secret meaning we have created for ourselves; and when we stop and look at it all, we realize we are merely the sum of our attainments, the sum that keeps

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