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Showing posts from February, 2020

The Art of Memory

  The Art of Memory When we can traverse the plains of memory, stopping at each fire to warm ourselves before we start again on our journey, there is a world inside a world that keeps going on to infinity.  If we are lucky enough to hear the eternal melody that is at work in these moments, many fine hours may come upon us.   But sometimes the solace and hospitality are too much and we live with our new found companions, taking them along wherever we go, as a shadow upon our eyes.  The memories of Thoreau, or the early frontier narratives of Indian captivity, are something that I have felt eternal and unchangeable in human nature, not for any piece of information they have given me, but because my melancholy has always found peace in their environment.  For some the world is old or the world is new, but the point is that we tend to look at it through memory.  One memorable event confounds all future celebrations; we remember so as not to forget, but we do not remember that we are able t

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