I’m writing about the 19th century now, and the simplicity of life has made me ponder my own rather horrific journey. Of course I’m glad for all the freedom — though that’s getting to be more of a challenge to hang onto, isn’t it? The scans, all the invasions into one’s life. I feel more and more coarsened by my resistance, but damned if I’ll stop fighting…
Loss of faith: I went to a Buddhist temple here in Kathmandu this morning, and saw a Nepalese man who was on his way to guide some trekkers, from the spic and span way he looked. He had a huge yellow flower behind his left ear and his forehead was splotched with the sacred red tika.
I saw him in the garden of my hotel a few minutes later. “I saw you in the temple just now. Good morning!” said I. He said, in broken Nepali-English, ‘oh,temple. Very good.’ and I noticed that he’d left behind every trace of his indigenous fervor. (He was fervent, too, praying away at 7 am.) And this had made me realize that I hadn’t taken anything seriously since I got mugged in Dharamsala (by a Tibetan) last year.
I attach a photo in my school for Tibetan refugees, with a couple of Boet kids and one of the books I wrote for that school. (I gave it to the Karmapa.)
My way to keep on keepin on has been to re-ignite my connection to myself: the Irish laboring grandfather peeps through my patina quite often, for example.
Keeping hold of one’s … life force… isn’t easy these days. Keep well; hope you read my books. Best from KTM. MAD