Everest and the Toenail

Life in Kathmandu, Nepal and Beyond

In Front of the Fire

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I lie on a queen size bed looking at posters proclaiming No Credit Necessary in reversed out white font on a red background. Beyond through the smoked glass cars whizz silently by on a flyover vanishing out of sight. A communications vine of thick cables winds its way round poles, sagging into and out of view. I drift towards sleep, feet on a red mattress protector. I have become part of a closeout sale.

Being home is at once familiar and deeply puzzling and confusing. I am fuelled by joy yet mourning that which I knew. I am thrilled by the new: phone, car, kitchen equipment blisteringly fast internet, yet saddened by the vastness of the material gap. A  larder full of a wide variety of  produce from Giant doesn’t necessarily confer dignity, rather a reminder  of unfairness.

The fire burns in a room now full of unpacked reminders – paintings, drawings, photographs, knick-knacks-unseen and unremembered for over five years. Yet their presence, so clearly not missed, is reassuring, as familiar as though I had seen them yesterday.

This new life leaves me speechless unable to communicate with the white screen or articulate the narrative voice stunned into temporary submission by the onslaught of absolutely everything all at once all the time in an unceasing river of lights and movement without the breath of punctuation.

Flames flicker like transient words burning their way onto the snow white screen and I am back in touch with that which defines me. That at least is an anchor pulled out of a packing case into a world that for a time seemed to have broken free of its moorings. Grief is what L diagnoses. She is right. But there is also relief and a still still  earth beneath my feet.

So, I am back. The reality that I am not returning to the roof of the world slowly sinks in. I send this entry out into the world with all good wishes for the coming year to all who read this blog, now finding its voice a world away from the land of its inception.


Written by jamesaeoglethorpe

December 25, 2016 at 6:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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