What does going to the cemetery once a year and taking stock of the old and new tombstones have to do with Christianity?
Wonderfully clever as those stories were, they have, I fear, led many to regard Simla as a town populated by 'Mrs. Hawkbees,' by frivolous grass widows, idle hill captains and the genus known as bow-wows.'
A cool night in San Cristobal de las Casas. A walk in search of a place to eat. Looking ahead, I saw lights, then the activity on the zocalo.
The emphasis on “repatriation,” of an Australian Aboriginal bark art or the Indian Koh-i-Noor diamond, is contemporaneous with the liberal mass migration of our globalised, connected world.
Wilde’s tomb was covered in red lipstick kisses and a young goth man sat at its base reading a book of poetry.
The clouds leak constantly. I imagine someone doing laundry up in the sky, trying to wash dark smudges from the rain clouds, wringing them dry into white fluff once again. The clouds have no shame. They weep constantly, not caring that all eyes are turned towards them.
I was eating at an outdoor table on the zocolo when the kid approached me and stopped at my table, his words spewing forth, all business. “Mister, you want your shoes shined. Three pesos, mister, I shine your shoes. Okay?” It didn’t matter that I didn’t answer him right away. The kid with the San Francisco Giants cap that was too big on his head squatted and set up his kit. A rag draped over two fingers was ready to dip into the tin of brown polish.
Can you ever imagine your bedroom in India and your kitchen in Myanmar. Isn’t it bizarre and wouldn’t it be strange to know that your home is divided not between family members or even relatives but between two nations? As bizarre as it sounds they exists!
Back to Kyoto four months later, after leaving it in that summer haze when I cycled through the streets and every sight and sound wove meaning into the larger scene. Saturated it. I found the temples by the sluice and its rock garden that rippled through me. I looked into its rooms at the dimly lit paintings, the tiger’s shimmering golden lines. I wrote a blog, felt renewed and re-discovered. I’m still in dialogue with those initial impressions of Kyoto.
Such an imagined land might as well be the abode of idle lotus eaters, or the dwelling place of ferocious sexual fiends, with a propensity for red meat with their alcohol, and a fervent dedication to various modes of family planning. Sandwiched between the realms of fanciful imagination and mundane reality, the Jawaharlal Nehru University exists almost proverbially, like the folk song, it never was new, and it never gets old.
The roundabout was so huge that it made my eyes roll, my head twirl, and then I would twist, a body in need of orientation, before the luggage handle jerked protestingly in my hand. It wriggled on the poorly paved ground, knocking against the slabs here and there like grumpy footsteps.
The dynamic geology of Iceland is intriguing. We drive along the perimeter of this volcanic island in a semi-circle: from Keflavík to Höfn along Route 1. We hope our geological time travel will reveal some events in Earth’s history. We are confounded.