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Showing posts from April, 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 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