Thursday, July 15, 2010


Plans have changed, as they often do in Nepal— the monsoon has prevented me from going to Bandipur, and fortuitously kept me in Kathmandu, where I am volunteering at the Shree Mangal Dvip School for Himalayan Children. The students at SMD are bright, energetic and inspiring, in fact I find it difficult to find an adjective that is adequate for describing how wonderful they are. When the opportunity to volunteer at SMD was presented, I jumped at the chance.

Nights in Kathmandu are a symphony of dog barks, staticky radios, the clinking and tapping from metal workshops, and frogs. Nepali and Tibetan escape unseen lips hidden in the darkness of the city's frequent blackouts. With load-shedding comes the warm flickering of candles, the hum of generators and cries of excitement when the power is restored. Battleship clouds silently creep in and change into a myriad of shapes, threatening to pour and flood, while veiling the mountains that surround us. Mysterious mountains, the Himalaya, home of snow.

I have never had a mirror so clear held to my life, never seen such colour, never seen so much grey. What seemed essential, what seemed enormous, now holds so little weight. What thoughts that floated through my mind like seeds, have landed and begun to root, with the honesty of an open wound, the frankness of a blank page.

Red-robed monks toying with wooden rosaries while circling the stupa, Tibetan ancients prostrating on their bellies in the rain, children playing those same games that transcend geography and culture. The dust in my eyes, on my skin, in my mouth and in my lungs, the smell of chillies, garlic and incense, the sound of a young boy singing something incomprehensible to my foreign ears.

If we carry within us pieces of what we've seen, heard, tasted, smelled and touched, I don't know how I'll walk again. I imagine stacks of suitcases of all sizes, shapes and colours inside me— bursting at the seams and latches with life, and I don't know how I can possibly walk with all this gratitude and joy that I feel.


redrock said...

your words paint more than a visual images, they project one's soul. thank you

szaza said...

Thank you so much for your kind words!