I step out of our apartment into the heat and clear skies of a Kathmandu July morning. The clouds will soon gather on the horizon against a sky that actually boasts of blue. This season brings color and a glistening heat to our otherwise dusty city where the sky is often the color of the unpainted cement houses that have metal posts sticking up from sloppy concrete pillars in anticipation of another floor being built when paisa pugchha (money suffices). But not today, today there is color, and heat. The sun draws a sheen of moisture from my forehead and neck. I forgot to carry an umbrella, so I keep as much as possible to the shady side of the street.
Alden was upstairs bathing with rain water when I left. He has a busy day ahead. Like yesterday and the day before. Jon, your absence is acute at home. Smile. We miss you. Yesterday I filled the gap you left with your mother’s poetry and my favorite soundtrack. Alden and I meditated for a time and I stretched, slipping into sleep as I lay on your gray blanket on the floor. I got up, set up the bed, mosquito net. I passed out almost instantaneously. Smile.
This morning I woke early. Surprise surprise. Light poured in the curtains I had left open when I fell asleep. I rose, cleaned up the living room, stretched, and said a ritual prayer that I said as part of a class assignment for much of second semester senior year. It’s based on Islamic ritual prayer, and it felt good to have the ritualized words and motions fill my body as I faced the window and thought of the day. After Alden got up, he and I did yoga for about fifteen minutes. It felt good good good. Then breakfast of leftover khir and some alu achaar. Delightful, hunh? Grin. Delicious and delectable.
I walked to Ratna Park (a different route than usual) and caught a Jawalakhel jaane gaaDi (headed car) from there. I’m at the office now. So glad to have heard from you. Did you get through customs alright? Safe travels so far? You will be home soon.
Thank you for the poem about dhaan roping
(rice planting). Smile. Your words are magic. As was the moment.
I have a running narrative in my head of things to tell you. As if I am writing you a letter in my head. Smile. Who knows how much of it will actually get to you. But know I’m thinking of you.
Love and peace,
Jyoti maya thandiwe
July 11, 2009
Kathmandu is hot and muggy this morning. It feels like it’s waiting to rain, and the clouds are hanging low. I’m wearing the khurta surwal that you got from the Tamangs. It’s already stitched and all, and it feels wonderful to wear. I don’t know why I didn’t just buy myself one earlier. Wry smile. Last night Alden and I went out to Him Thai for some delicious, if a little pricey, Thai food – veg pad thai, coconut milk soup and vegetable curry in a red sauce. Hm-hm. Guru spent the night again – I enjoy having him around. Alden and I talked about him and how wonderful he is at dinner yesterday. I guess Guru often talks about how milne the three of us (you, Alden and I) are, which is lovely. It’s nice to have mutual admiration with someone. Guru is someone I will miss after I leave, for sure.
I woke up at 4 this morning, wide awake. I got up and made some herbal tea and read a bit before I fell back asleep until 7:30 or so. Smile. My funny sleep habits.
My friend Nicki arrives today, and I will be heading to the airport to meet her at noon. I’m excited to see her – it’s been almost a year – a long time. I can’t wait to catch up with her about her last year in school. She was an incredibly supportive friend for me when I was in San Francisco and things were just hard. So yeah, looking forward to seeing her. I think she’ll stay with me and Alden for a night or two or three. I’m sorry you missed meeting her. Perhaps some other time.
What have you been up to? How’s jet lag? When do you head to Vermont? I was thinking about calling you today but then it got late, so I figured an email would be fine. Another morning I’ll call ani haami nepalimaa kuraa garna sakchhau (and we can chat in Nepali). ahile (now), I’m off to run some errands.