Author of Madam, Have You Ever Really Been Happy? An Intimate Journey through Africa and Asia


For the last several blogs I have been writing about my trip to Nepal back in 2018 and the trek to Khopra Ridge in the Himalayas, ending with my final days in Boudha, a part of Kathmandu. Little did I know how fortuitous those words would be. Who could have written a fantasy novel with a plot describing our present scenario and think anyone would take it seriously? And who could imagine that there would come a day when I’d long for the crowded streets of Boudha, the insane motorcyclists, the noisy bustle encircling the Boudhanath Stupa, the close brushes with eternity around every corner, and the universal, spontaneous closeness with my fellow human beings? All things we take for granted, good and bad. And now drastically changed.

What will I do without hugs, without comforting pats on the back, without theater, without opera, without ensemble music, without a gathering of close friends around a table for a meal, a cup of coffee, a glass of wine? Get used to it, Meg. Treasure those fond memories, but keep yourself open for new, different ones….

Yes, ingenuity seems to be the go-to word today. Imaginations are working overtime in every phase of life, and, in many instances, humor is on the rise. What else can we do? And in the end, I am optimistic that needed changes in our world, top to bottom, are on the horizon.

I wrote these words before the events of the past week and the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman. I see this as a seminal event that I hope has awakened all of America, and especially its representatives in Washington, to the need for drastic changes in its treatment of people of color, in its unfair economic establishment, in its inadequate system of medical care, and in its increasing dependence on force to solve its problems. America is for all people. It needs to unite, eschew its recent tribal and political divisions and treat each other with kindness and respect, love and understanding. This takes more than hope. This requires action. This is essential if we are to survive as a viable nation.

Stay healthy.






  1. Claudia

    I agree Meg. Thank you for sharing your loving, wise thoughts.

  2. RB

    Hackneyed Rhymes for Fraught Times

    “Stay inside and stay away”
    Is fair advice to ruin the day.

    But a rule less cruel might mean your life
    With raging contagion and civic strife.

    Can’t go out and can’t stay in.
    Crappy kind of world we’re in.

    Our courage lapsed post Civil War
    We turned away and closed the door.

    Now the house we built can’t stand the storm
    And the date’s past due for real reform.
    * * *
    Sorry for the doggerel, Meg, but my scant poetic talents aren’t really up to the moment. Keep writing, please. May the dark days abate. RB.

  3. Yana

    So true! And it’s about time we have a national “discussion” in as many peaceful forms as possible. Might say this could be our society’s overdue “ascent of Mt. Everest” toward furthering equity and justice for all in our lifetime…..

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