I remember a good friend six years ago asking while I was on my pulgrimage through the West if I was going to unplug for a period and just experience the pilgrimage without the need to blog daily changing the lens that I used and thus changing the rxperience. I knew there was wisdom in her suggestion even though I remained committed to inviting people into the rawness of my daily experience. And while I knew that was the right thing then I also knew that that cimmitment chsnged my experience. I remember many days when I was already writing the blog in my head as I rode. Rather than just experiencing a dramatic thunder and lighting storm my mind was already shaping the narrative before the had even stopped.
- I am going to do it differently this time. Of course I had to be slightly coerced into it. I confirmed two weeks ago that internet and cell coverage will be very spotty and should expect only 3-4 places where blogging could even br possible. Many days we will just be camped alongside the road as we make the 12-day trek up to Everest Base Camp.
I do want to share this journey with you, but I have committed to protecting the experience of it first and processing and sharing it only second.
If you want more regular updates please make a friend request on Facebook. I am likely to post a few pictures there with just a note or two about what I am experiencing.
For today let me just share that I was
able to witness a Hindu cremation ceremony on the Bagmati River in Kathmandu. It brought tears to my eyes as I witnessed the family prepare the body, adorn it, carry it to the prepared funeral pyre, and then follow what was obvoously a prescribed funeral ritual before lighting the wood on fire. Most folks stood by reverently as they said goodbye to this friend/ loved one while one woman wailed in the background held by four or five other women who may have been jeld themselves like this at one time.
What was especially intriguing was how public this ritual of gratitude, lettong go and mourning was. Three others bodies were lined up obviously awaiting the full community of celebrants/ mourners to arrive. Hundreds of people–tourists, locals, religious adherents and who knows who else milled about as if this was just another day to come to market.
Life went on. Bodies were burned. Beggars begged. Tourists snspped pictures. Monkets fought over scraps and death was just another part of another day in a long series of days and years that ends scattered in the womb of the river just as it begins in the mother’s womb.
äBike is still not here. I am becoming less philosophical about it and more annoyed as I set off tomorrow on a borrowed bike with only half the gear I planned for and wearing the same increasingly stinky socks for the fourth day in a row.
My six other cycling friends have offered to share gear to get me through the next couple of days including a vivid pink jersey from one young woman. I might have to learn to accept help. Geez! Climbing Everest is easy. Accepting help? Now that’s going to be the resl challenge!
Complicated, unpredictable journey ahead. I’ll post, but only when technology, space, schedule and mood allow. Experience first. Process later.