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A Poet's Journal: March 4th, 2015

  March 4th, 2015 There was a swoop in the air and, thinking it the wind, noticed a flock of song-birds passing over.  It is strange to wonder then, how many times we may say something with one intention in mind, but provide suitable ground for other unconscious actions.  When the birds pass, they do not think they are the wind, nor even birds. Douglas Thornton

Nepalese Notebook: September 21st, 2014


September 21st, 2014

Bhimtang 3800m. by Larkya La Pass 5160m.

You close the metal door of your stone hut in blank wet darkness; a few hours later you wake in darkness again, but the door opens on a vast expanse of stars and the horned moon descending to the peaks of the mountains.  Space and the all-encompassing universe feel not so far away; the difference is realization.  The weather had calmed, no wind was blowing, and the silence of morning and breakfast began ringing in the dinner hall.  The keeper was there, no worse for the wear, and all were speaking of the fine day with eagerness and angst.



We left at dawn, and by the time we reached the moraine of Larkya Glacier, where there rested a beautiful jade-like pool of absolutely still water, the sun was shining brilliantly on the high summits.  The snow that had fallen the night before brought the good fortune this morning of showing us the tracks of a snow leopard which had followed our trail until just after the pass, leaving its tail print at the spot where it veered off into the desolate mountains. The landscape became more lunar as we got further on, and the sound of avalanches and the cracking of glaciers were the only things that broke the silence, we being able to see one avalanche rush down the long precipice of Larke (6249m.)  The glaciers, on the other hand, were not exactly what we believed them to be; to the naked eye, they resembled large rock fields, at times with the sound of a gun firing, but their constant movement made it so that you saw large rocks sink in, or the ground twitch, believing it only a trick of the eye.  The altitude, in all reality, never seems to be much of a bother until you reach the 5000m. mark, in which case your body begins to slow and your mind becomes distant and uneasy and your comprehension of situations is rather rudimentary.  This was our general state when we crossed Larkya La, action reduced to its lowest level and emotions only superficial.  When you find yourself higher than any mountain in Europe, but look above you to see mountains 4000m. higher, your clarity falters and you want to stay where you are to try to understand something, but you must find your way back.

The descent was long and atrocious; there was an optical illusion that made it seem that Bhimtang in the far distance and the small stream of Dudh Khola were in actuality above us and the water was rushing up hill, and even as we approached closer, this still seemed to be the case.  We arrived somewhat beaten, troubled with migraines, and forced to eat soup with the berries of the pepper-tree in it.  We slept until evening; the weather still clear.

Douglas Thornton

Comments

  1. Your descriptions are so real and I almost feel like I'm there seeing,
    hearing and feeling all that you describe. Such an adventure,can't wait to hear more.

    ReplyDelete

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