Thirsty soul

I sit in a smoky, crowded room 4800m high in the Nepal Himalayas. In my headphones, Ludovico Einaudi plays like honey to my ears. In the background, the voices of Nepalese, Spanish, Israeli and English intermingle. I am a witness to life. People gather around the cylindrical fireplace, equal faces of happiness and exhaustion. Some here because they are paid to be, some for adventure, reprieve or healing. I have walked through the mountains for a week and tomorrow we pass Thorung La, at nearly 5416m. I have crossed rivers and with altitude, traversed many different terrains with a rainbow of flora and fauna. I’ve been very uncomfortable, in body and mind. I’ve also found more acceptance, appreciation and patience for myself and the world around me.

This is meagre excerpt of the deep reverence I have always had for nature, increased by my time in the mountains. Before I came, I set a trajectory here to fertilize some soul soil. To challenge my sense of self. To be okay with being alone in one of the most remote places in the world. To help solidify the mastery of my own mind and emotions; where I will always be a sojourner in a foreign land. I envisaged nourishing my soul with mental and physical challenges, in an ever-evolving endeavour for growth. What was a physically taxing journey was all the more mental for me. My muscles were nothing compared to the storm raging inside my mind.

In nature, you find more than you ever thought you were looking for.


With infinite love for this beautiful world.



I have a thirsty soul
Quenched by the colours of the world
(Satiated by love)

Kaleidoscopic
Life;
In its many faces
Eyes speaking stories of universal human experience
Those you
And I
Know well

Relative are our experiences
But no less valid
Suffering and happiness
Yin and yang
Chaos and order

On this plane we meet
Where souls recognize one another
Themselves reflected
An unavoidable dichotomy
The ebb and flow of our existence

My soul yearns –
For the gradual awakening of a deep night sky
A slow dialled gradient
Where first light glints
Over oceans
Or beams over mountain tops

I have a thirsty soul!
A heart that dreams
Of snow dusted mountains
Mottled stone walls
Staggered and sheer
Protruding from their icy encasement

Pine trees perched on pinnacles
Exposed cliff edges
Rivers that churn and rage
Creeks that trickle
Water as the lifeblood of seed
Seed to flower
Flower to fruit

Awe

Mother Earths sheer totality
Air fire earth and water
Together they mould
And balance our everchanging Earth

I dream of underwater worlds
Life aplenty
Myriads of coral cities
And creatures of the deep
Of desert landscapes
Harsh and arid
Where nature is most cruel and unforgiving

My soul pleads for diversity
For every creature to flourish
For coexistence with the natural world
For harmony

A soul that yearns and a heart that dreams
But in nature
Mind body and soul
Unifies

Under a labrynthine lush canopy
Where light filters in between carefully crafted leaves
Where soft wind whispers through trees
Fingers of the universe sounding carefully selected piano notes of natural wonder
Warm light endows each leaf
Exhibiting each fragile vein in their perfect creation

Here you behold life

Intricate
Yet simple
Life;
In all its glory.

Today I…

Today I met Rosemary.

(I hope she knows that she was the final straw of inspiration gathered to start this little creative outlet. So here goes. )

Rosemary is a stocky, 60-something year old woman with sparse, inch long blonde hair. As I plonked my weights down in the enclosed workout room of the gym you can escape to when creepy guys encroach, we got talking. I don’t like talking to people when I exercise, especially not at the gym. I pulled my headphones off in a sweat, to catch the last part of her sentence. Something about how the girl outside was complaining about exercise. Rosemary was laughing and shaking her head as she tottered around the exercise bike to adjust it. “I never used to say fuck” she said… “but fuuuck.”

Long story short; Rosemary was supposed to die 5 years ago.

She has a terminal diagnosis. Breast cancer. Her decrepit strands were the remains of her regenerating cells, despite rounds upon rounds of chemo. Her entire body was swollen due to the copious amounts of medication she was on. As she hoisted her stout self up and swung her leg over the exercise bike, she added that she had recently had a knee reconstruction and that the big blue sleeve she had around her right arm was due to burns she got from her cancer treatment. A big blue $1000 sleeve that had to be regularly replaced.

I found myself beckoning for more of her life story, music paused and breath now steady. My attention was all hers. She cycled along and told me how many “licorice bullet” lumps they found, that she must have missed. How her chest grew “fire engine red” which was a symptom of her breast cancer. This was a sign that was waved away by multiple doctors, one time with antibiotics and another with a diagnosis of sea lice irritation from her early morning ocean swims.

5th opinion lucky right?

Rosemary spent 30 years in the fitness industry and had a degree in health science. She part joked, part lamented about how she “did everything right.” Never smoked, drank or did drugs… but how she wished she had. I reassured her that there is certainly still time!

I don’t believe in the divine, let alone divine appointments. But, encounters like this do make me wonder. After this swift unravelling of Rosemary, I felt comfortable to do a bit of my own and told her a little bit about the series of unfortunate events that my year has, and seemingly continues, to lead me through. I wasn’t expecting her advice (or lackthereof). She told me I was ready for a break down. That I’d go through hell. I’m not one to be dramatic, but I told her I already had.


The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it.

Eckhart Tolle

There are some points in life where we have to harness every inch of our willpower to draw a distinct line between logic/reason and emotion. Sometimes it is the only way to be able navigate treacherous emotional waters. I told her that in my view, all we have is the now. The past can’t touch us and the future never really arrives. “Huh”, she pondered. “I’ve never really thought about it like that.”

My heart wilted as Rosemary mentioned nonchalantly, “No one wants to know you when you’ve got cancer, especially when it’s terminal.” I wanted to know her. I’m grateful for our meeting. Throughout our encounter, I had taken comfort in her matter of fact disposition. And somehow, as our stories melted together, the inspiration appeared mutual.

To my surprise she called ME “brave girl.” She warned me about all the deaths of hikers and climbers in the Himalayas, as I told her that I was about to venture off on my own for some solitude amongst the mountains.

Finally, I asked Rosemary how she pulls herself through each day, to which she responded:

“Everyday is a bonus.”