This is the antidote to sitting around, waiting for a knee to heal. I’m sorely challenged by prolonged inactivity, as many of you may know, but have found excitement and inspiration in several amazing stories I’ve been carrying around waiting to read. Now’s the time and let me share two of the books with you. The Unsung Hero; Tom Crean, Antarctic Survivor by Michael Smith. I saw a one-man show at the Irish Repertory Theater in New York City a few years ago about this intrepid Irishman, who was a key figure in both Scott and Shackelton’s polar expeditions in the early 20th century. I was held captive throughout this story of immense strength, dedication, and uncanny endurance.
Now I’m involved in another daring adventure by Ian Baker, The Heart of the World, A Journey To Tibet’s Lost Paradise. It’s an exploration into the heart of Tibetan Buddhism as well as a journey to find what James Hilton wrote in Lost Horizon…the Shangri La hidden deep within the Himalayas. But this is not a fantasy. This is a search for the much-rumored waterfall in the Tsangpo Gorge in Tibet, which has mystified and eluded explorers for hundreds of years. This story dovetails with several other books I’m reading about Tibetan Buddhism as it relates to other philosophies and great religions of the world. It is also especially relevant since the author began his odyssey in the caves of the Yolmo, where daughter Cary is trekking. I’ve been in touch with her, and she finds this area rugged and beautiful, but won’t be able to go to her highest destination in Guru Rinpoche’s cave because of the extreme weather. I can’t wait to hear more about it!
I walked to the Boudhanath Stupa today and was not run down by a motorcycle. I bargained for fruit, immersed myself in Saturday crowds (this is the only day of the week that school is out), burned incense, and lit butter lamps for loved ones. I’m looking at this time alone as my special retreat, away from the phone, TV, family, work, and computer, except for those times when the power allows me half-an-hour on the internet. I’m paying $10/night for my room and another ten for marvelous vegetarian meals served in a charming garden full of exotic trees and flowers. Wonderful as it is, I would not have chosen this over a trek, but I shall make the most of it. I’m even catching up on The New Yorker magazine!