Nepali Dust...

3 April:
7 candles...nary a flicker...new room...two sticks of nag champa masking...weakly concealing 2 months worth of chain smoking. This room, like myself, was ripe with potential, regardless of its dim portrayal. Even now...the incense presses perfume smoke against me...encouraging my reluctant fingers to rub my stinging eyes...to press my burning lids against tender eyeballs...believing that such torture is surely preferable to residing in a veritable ashtray. Who am I kidding! It really hurts!! Wow...the strange ways in which we harm ourselves.... *I'm here, but I'm not here...my guitar lays quietly at my side...forever willing...caring little for my fickle whims. My left hand clumsily presses down strings in the shape of A minor, moving into a C, while the fingers of my right hand haphazardly strum a random tune. I know not where these sounds come from...only that they occasionally feel 'right'. I do my best to let them be...to trust the unknown movements that propel my ignorant fingertips. The shapes that manifest often surprise me...flowing from some unknown source...drawing me into and out of my 'self'...tickling the depths of me...toying with my senses. Sometimes I am effortlessly capable of stepping aside and letting such beautiful mysteries unfold in front of and within me...but, more often than not, my tricky mind interferes with needless question and pointless analysis....who?...why?....but...but...why? Endlessly inquisitive, this mind knows no limits...it pushes against impossible boundaries...forever reviewing...revising....remembering...reliving... hellbent on perfecting its ways...terrified of screwing up...wanting so to be 'good'...to be 'right'...to be recognized and acknowledged as such. It wraps itself so cleverly in selfless looking packages, trying so hard to convince me that its aims are true. But I know better...I'm no longer so easily swayed. I know its very nature is illusory...transient...reliably impermanent...or, shall I say, reliably unreliable...unreal....imaginary and fleeting. Moment by hard won moment, I am...ever so slowly but surely learning to harness the brilliance of my mind, rather than stumbling beneath its blindly motivated prowess. Slowly, slowly. This life....this...life...shall not be wasted...

5 April:
Sirens...a frequent sound here...making me realize how seldom I've heard such broadcasts of emergency over the last 6 months. Wow...SIX MONTHS...no wonder I find myself missing 'home'. I think it's that longing for personal space that fueled my determination to make this room livable. I scrubbed the walls, washing away the surface residue of countless travelers...happily dumping several buckets of black water down the drain. I did my best to cleanse the space before imbuing it with some sense of 'me'...making it familiar and warm...a momentary sanctuary. Kathmandu survives 16 hours a day of power cuts...load shedding. A schedule on the door to the shared shower neatly informs and warns, giving us some sense of structure, at least. I've managed to miss the positive slots for the last two days, depriving myself of hot showers. It's still chilly enough here that bathing in cold water is decidedly unpleasant and best avoided. So, tomorrow's schedule is clearly in my head. I shall not miss out again! Aside from issues with bathing, I'm not bothered by the lack of electricity. I Prefer candlelight to the harsh fluorescence that most rooms seem to have. Feels cozier this way...gentle and calm...quietly reassuring, somehow. *Started uploading photos again...daunting task. But I discovered a comfy spot to lounge and imbibe tasty coffee while enjoying free wi-fi. So...perhaps the food costs more than my room, but it's a lovely place to spend the necessary hours...even if I only make the smallest dent...any reduction in my three month backlog makes the costly cuisine worth every tasty rupee. Every day there is a small allotment of continuous power. I suspect you'll find me passing those precious hours at OR2K...cold coffee in hand...big, fat grin on my happy face...illuminated by the blue glow of my laptop...