Sunday, May 24, 2015

How quickly our attentiobn wanders

The world's attention moves on.  I've been working on both a quilt about the destruction in Nepal and writing about my memories which are vivid and, I think, not the usual "travel magazine" stuff.  (This photo is of just a few of the row of prayer wheels that surround Boudhanath Stupa. I suspect this stupa sustained lesser damage than most else because it seems to be an almost solid structure (picture below)   Those are people walking it's layers, as I have done quite a few times.  It is the major Buddhist stucture in Kathmandu.  An older shrine, Swayambu (probably misspelled) is likely to have suffered more damage

And I'm thinking, too, of the monastery to which I trekked for a fall festival called Mani Rimdu. It was only 17 miles from Everest base camp, made of wood, mostly, and had been destroyed by fire and rebuilt twice. It was nearer the epicenter of both the first big shock and the severe after shock. I imagine it has been badly damaged if not destroyed.  My sadness for Nepal and it's people is similar to grief when a loved on dies. A senseless loss, without a culprit to blame-- we know the earth moves plain and simple, and, as always it is the very poor who suffer the most.

Some thousands of years ago all of the beautiful, rich, fertile valley in which Kathmandu, Patan and Bakhtapur sit was a gigantic mountain lake.  An earthquake broke down the obstructions in a defile that dammed the lake and the water poured (probably in a terribly devastating flood) down to the Gangetic plain known as the Terrai (the southern  band of the country of Nepal).That great lake had accumulated hundreds of years of silt and loam so that when the water was gone, the valley dried and became the fertile place that has since grown the majority of Nepal's food. They got three crops a year because of the fertility and the climate (same latitude as central Florida). Thus the Earth itself gives and takes with no regard to the life that lives upon its surface.