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.

moreof india2

moreof india

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

Manikarnika ghat








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]

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]