18 Months

18 months of travel, volunteering, farming, writing, listening, learning, etc. is coming to an end. I made a list of words, ideas, thoughts, feelings that arose while thinking about the last year-and-a-half. It came out in poem form, and I decided to share it with you: Loss, grief, death, sadness, disillusionment, distrust, despair, abandonment, forsaken. Cross. Tears. Lament. Anger. Fist. Root yourself. Be present. Do not be afraid. Only in […]

23 Days || Photo Essay

There is beauty that cannot be described, cannot be captured, cannot even be fully seen. It can only be experienced through immersion. For 23 days we were surrounded by such beauty – breathing its air, listening to its voices, stumbling through its midst, and trying somehow to appreciate it. I made the tough choice to leave my multi-kilo camera equipment behind and most days on the trail I was grateful […]

Landslides, Summits and the Slavery of Death: Part III

This is part III of III in the series Landslides, Summits and the Slavery of Death. If you haven’t yet, read Part I and Part II. Four days ago I encountered the landslide area for the first time – the hour and a half of walking on scree, rocks falling from above and moving under our feet to brutal depths below. When we reached the guesthouse at Tilicho Base Camp […]

Landslides, Summits and the Slavery of Death: Part II

We set off with headlamps on our heads, bundled in all of our layers, wool hats, muffs around our necks, and knockoff North Face and Mountain Hardware mittens covering our hands and half our arms. For the first time on this trek, we pulled the rubber caps off our poles, exposing metal tips, and screwed round, plastic saucers 3 inches from the bottom of the pole to keep it from sinking deeper into the snow.

I Am Breath

Many days I have a mantra. To speak out loud what I want and claim that it already exists inside me. Often, it is: I am health; I am healing. Sometimes, I am strength; I am strong. Or, I am endurance; I endure. Today, as I move forward, hiking uphill, my mantra is I am breath; I am breathing. I listen. I breathe in:

Day in the Life || We Don't Do Great Things

Poor Servants of Jesus the Master [Nepal] We sit around a long rectangular wooden table where hospitality and friendship are served in equal measure. A nineteen year old boy, from Darjeeling, has just come to begin his novitiate. It will be at least seven years before he makes his final vows to God and to this community. Also at the table are three brothers who currently make up this newly […]

There is Mercy

We had walked 5 hours already that day; most of it under the sweltering sun on the dusty, uninspiring road that has ben steadily built around much of the Annapurna Circuit the last several years. We were beginning to wonder if we should have heeded the advice to trek the Everest region instead. Our legs, hips, back and shoulders ached, not yet used to the weight of our packs. “Maybe […]