The first of the month
Happy first of November! It looks like this month will be:
Big book of contemporary poetry | hot tea | plans for next semester | work | other kind of work | one-hour-of-sleep-kind-of-days | celebrations | fending off the cold rain | confused by the weather all around | making connections | rediscovering what health looks like in winter | learning to love through distance and how to talk on skype and a phone | setting aside time for leisure|
Today’s rain makes me feel more exhausted than ever. Last night, I celebrated Halloween the best way I know how (by dressing up as a man *which turned out to be a very empowering, and fascinating couple of hours) and dancing with the good ones. This morning, after only a few heavy hours of sleep, I was back at it -> writing and editing an essay before a class where we learned how to make a decent souffle.
If the rest of November is anything like today, it will be filled with exciting times (*Phantogram tonight with brother Sam, Danny and Immy) and a lot of hard work. The rest of this weekend involves a few good meals, some projects, some essay-writing, and trying to remember how to correctly wear a sari.
The only thing one can give an artist is leisure in which to work. To give an artist leisure is actually to take part in his creation. -Ezra Pound
Some days it is strange to think my world looked like this a few weeks ago.
I haven’t stopped for more than a few seconds since I got home, but yesterday at dinner, I finally sat down and looked through a couple of India photos. These stood out to me.
These were taken on a a typical grey, monsoon day down by the burning ghat (Manikarnika ghat) in Varanasi. I stayed at a place near the ghat and went nearly everyday. Even when I was trying to avoid the ghat, I was always drawn back there.
Varanasi in the rain was a strange this time around. Dirtier, weirder and even more magical and alluring than ever.
I’m so glad I went back. I’m glad that I got stuck there and had time to rest and recover fully before doing India this way. . .
[Photos: Manikarnika ghat, Varanasi//Grace Farson]
Pokhara in the rain
On getting lost
I get lost a lot when I go new places.
I never have a map or any sense of where I need to be, but in a way, it’s the best way to travel (*that is, it is the best way to travel when you have the time).
When I went to Rishikesh, I packed only my small day-pack, a book, a journal, a change of clothes, and my camera. It allowed me so much freedom. Freedom to wander. I had nowhere to be, no idea what was what, and I loved it.
When the bus dropped me off on the outskirts of town, I ended up walking several kilometers to the northernmost point at Laxman Jhula. During my long walk, I wound up getting pretty lost, and in the process, met some amazingly friendly, funny people.
Traveling like this without plans or a place to be is easy for me. . . I know that the rest of this summer will involve a good deal more planning and it’ll be a good challenge for me.
In Kathmandu today, making plans and finding new connections. I officially have a telephone number here and have a lot of appointments and dinner//coffee dates in the next few days.
Enjoying the moments I feel all alone, but equally enjoying feeling that I have a family and close friends in this bright city.
“Trying to remember, I have learned, is like trying to clutch a handful of fog. Trying to forget, like trying to hold back the monsoon.” – Patricia McCormick
The monsoon came early this year and it is constantly full of surprises. It’s refreshing and welcomed. The rains are necessary, urgent, and often brief. They quickly become a part of daily life and routine here. When it rains, streets empty, puddles form, and all you can hear is rain hitting all types of strange, hard surfaces.
[Photos: Getting lost near the great Ganges. Rishikesh//Grace Farson]
North Carolina mud
On Saturday, I finally had [part] of the day off. I spent my free time going to yoga, eating at Weaver, and tramping through the woods [at mud] with Ora, Bill, and Kitty for a project.
It was all better than good.
[Photos: Saturday adventures//Grace Farson]