And now, the mountains are calling


“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir

I found this photo the other afternoon.

It was taken at sunrise on a bus en route to Rishikesh this past summer. It’s my idea of beauty.

The semester is officially over for me now and it is time to listen to the call and head to the mountains.

This afternoon boy and I are heading to Asheville.

A meditation


“Art is made by those who consider themselves to have failed at whatever isn’t art. And of course it is loved as consolation, or a call to arms by those who feel the same. One of the reasons there seem to be fewer readers for literature today than there were yesterday is that the concept of failure has been outlawed. If we are all beautiful, all clever, all happy, all successes in our own way, what do we want with the language of the dispossessed?

But the nature of failure ensures that writers will go on writing no matter how many readers they have. You have to master the embarrassments and ignominies of life.”

– Howard Jacobson. A mediation on failure.

[Photo: Hour one. Rishikesh, India//Grace Farson]

Hammock in a high place




This is the way I spent my days in Rishikesh.

(*If I wasn’t sleeping, or drinking lemon, ginger tea, or doing hot yoga)

A rooftop, a hammock, a book, and daydreams to keep me company . . . all under the hot Indian sun.

The simple things in life often bring the most joy.

[Photos: Red hot Rishikesh on a very good day//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]

Rishikesh. An overview






I feel that I could stay in Rishikesh for a lifetime.

Rishikesh is the kind of India you want India to be a lot of the time. It’s a holy city filled with life, and it’s an easy, good life. It seems to sparkle and move, but move at a much slower pace than a lot of India.

I spend a lot of my time here in quiet. In solitude. Practicing yoga. Sweating. And feeling free.

+ Enjoy this lovely song, sent by a truly lovely person this morning:

“Are you real or something from wanderlust
Who can you can we trust my dear, sweet, flower
Who can you trust
From cradle to grave
From ashes to ashes, from dust to dust” – Fink, “Yesterday Was Hard on All of Us

Today will be filled with waiting//showering (*I fear that I smell of hot curry and sweat more than ever before)//more yoga//itching a new collection of bug bites// packing up my life again.

[Photos: Day one, around the great Ganges river in Rishikesh//Grace Farson]




Writing from Rishikesh! (*Note: not pictured. That’s still Mumbai)

Ric Duncombe, you were right when you said time didn’t matter, but I’d know in a moment if I liked the place . . . and with Rishikesh, it was more like love at first sight!

Gorgeous. A bit cooler than Delhi. Yoga-filled.

Grace is content.

The area in Rishikesh near Laxman Jhula is an earth-child//tourist’s dream, much like Thamel, Kathamandu. . . It is all you could ever want and the world is made convenient and peaceful.

More to come later. . .

[Photos: Driving around Mumbai//Grace Farson]