Tuesday, November 15, 2011
It's a common sight in Nepal these days: women (mostly) preparing rice for drying. Grain flies through the tiny slits of big round sifters (with the help of an electric fan in the absence of breeze), and lands in knee high piles shaped like cones on burlap squares in the sun. Tourists are encouraged by Lonely Planet to look out for such scenes; expect them, photograph them. Instead of whipping out my camera, I, ever obsessed with the roots and origins of things, think about the rice "terraces" stacked like stairs along the Himalayan mountainside. I think about what it takes to get those rice grains from there to here in the village square. Think about the women I've seen higher up in the Himayalas, drinking chai from silver travel mugs on their breaks, tilling the soil in saris glamorously red and pink, even doing such hard labor.
Summer in Copenhagen saw Prince put on two days of The New Power Generation Festival, featuring Janelle Monae, Chaka Khan, and Raphael Saadiq as opening acts. The man himself was accompanied by Maceo Parker and a New Orleans brass band. We jumped and grinded until the last sweet burp of Parker's sax sounded out in the packed Scandinavian field, saturated by Purple Rain.
Blue Eyed Soul managed to wrangle us a spot in line for the after concert, coiled around Amager Bio. Janelle Monae sang "Tightrope" acoustic, then each member of the NPG took her/his turn at the mic, as The Purple One emerged sporadically to bless the efforts of his hardworking clan with his magical guitar. He was wearing a funky red suit with a matching head band, I believe. But to be honest, Blue Eyed Soul and I were making out so furiously we barely registered that Prince was in the room. Much of the next day (my last in CPH) is also a blur. I remember clearly only the sweet, drunken Greenlander called Vistus we befriended in a shady Christainia saloon, and Blue Eyed Soul's flat. It was central and littered with boxes and the evidence of a man who liked transit. This was too fucking good. I had to pinch myself.
"Dude, did that happen? Did we see Prince last night? Wait--do you think he saw us??" Looking back, we were shockingly indiscreet.
"I think if he did see us," Blue Eyed Soul answered, "he'd approve."
B.E.S. was moving to Kathmandu for a course in Tibetan Buddhism in only a week. In a few hours, I'd be on a flight to NY for a month of family time. "You should come," he said for about the 3rd time since we'd met. The first time, we sat overlooking the harbor docking the Queen of Denmark's yacht. I said no. Yet here I am traveling the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal; om-ing, writing, and throwing dancehall/reggae parties in the Himalayas. "We're lucky." I tell him. "It's a blessing, he says back.
As any personal blogger will tell you, it's difficult to maintain blogging when you're going through personal turmoil. Turmoil is not quite the word...perhaps...change. Your content is all wrapped up in musings about your everyday, which becomes impossible when events are happening too quickly, or even, too painfully for you to assimilate them properly before sending them out into the void of the Internets. Blogging demands a certain momentum and timeliness, while life change deserves stillness and time.
The main upheaval was my break up with the Serb*. I'm more clear now than I was in the months leading up to it that this was for the best. This sounds cliche, but once we actually pulled the trigger, which (not to pile on the platitudes) had been a long time coming, I had all kinds of energy. Energy to meet deadlines and get paying writing gigs, travel, date, and finally, admit to myself that it wasn't working. That's always been the hardest for me in relationships: admitting that it's time to fold.
But once I do accept that something (something I very much cherished) is over, I waste no time moving on. I'm swift and timely like the best of power bloggers. And it isn't about trying to replace what I've lost. I've learned not even to register it as a loss, but an opportunity. Everything has burned to the ground and it's about creating something entirely fresh. No harsh feelings or animosity. Just opportunity. Fertile ground. Then comes the tilling. Then, the harvest.
For those of you curious and caring enough to inquire by email, Twitter, tumblr message, blog comment and the like, things are just fine. Better than. Stay tuned. NAMASTE.
*The Serb is doing great, btw. On some real "theaters near you" shit. Super proud of him.
**This photo of Blue Eyed Soul was taken last week in the Himalayas.