TIME AND PLACE

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Forgot to publish this album when I was actually there in the North Woods this summer. So, since there can never be too many photos of trees I’ll do it now… I come home almost every summer, stay at Robert and Marsha’s in Grand Rapids, and walk in the woods along the Mississippi every morning. At least once during each visit I post a tree-album on this blog. How could I leave… Read More

I don’t seem to be quite ‘all the way home’ yet. Maybe a few more travel posts will do it.   It is December 2nd, my fifth day home in Albuquerque after the Big Trip of 2017—and five days of painful adjustment it has been. My body has rebelled, fighting a powerful battle against the complete 12-hour turnaround of day and night between northern India and central New Mexico. It pleads for… Read More

“India is not, as people keep calling it, an underdeveloped country, but rather, in the context of its history and cultural heritage, a highly developed one in an advanced state of decay.” Shashi Tharoor (Indian politician) It made perfect sense to me to fly home from Delhi. After all I’ve been in northern India, Delhi’s the main urban area up here, and there’s at least a day’s worth of touristing—supposed to be a… Read More

Still November 24, 2017.  I am bone-tired this morning. Almost frighteningly tired. I’ve made myself get up, shower and walk around for strong coffee and photo ops. The Mud Mirror Guesthouse where I’m staying is exactly the right place to recover from Indian Rail. I love this place. I almost could live here, right here in this odd centuries old room. Windows wide open every minute (does get a little smoky but… Read More

November 24, 2017. Still Thanksgiving evening back home; here in Jaisalmer we’ve moved on. I am so happy to be here…and will be equally (equally plus) happy to be home soon. Here’s a teaser photo of my room at the Mud Mirror Guesthouse and then a long tirade about Indian Rail. This will bring my railroad stories to an end…and let the healing begin. Yesterday. Pollyanna reporting in…if I had not wanted… Read More

For the first time this trip, I am cranky with a whole place/city (Agra). And it’s the first time I’ve felt really depleted. It’s okay, time/money/me winding down together. The four train days ahead are a little scary, but it’s all good…I say confidently. This was Taj Mahal day. Chichén Itza, Mexico; Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil; Colosseum, Italy; Taj Mahal, India; Great Wall of China; Petra, Jordan; and Machu Picchu, Peru have… Read More

November 21, 2017: A little later than the last post! Must be getting homesick… Shower taken, breakfast ordered, weather’s turned chilly, veg omelet looks delicious, rest of the world doesn’t make those puffy watery omelets we get in the States; these are flat and browned with tiny veggies grilled quickly so nothing is runny. Nice that my stomach’s performed as ordered this whole trip—the rule is to hardly ever eat and when… Read More

Varanasi the difficult. Varanasi the profound-maybe. Varanasi on the Ganges.  November 21, 2017 in Agra, India: The bloom is definitely off this trip’s rose. It happens a time or two on every one of my jaunts too-far. But when I plan them, considering my age, income, and available vacation, there’s pressure to wring as much experiential ‘joy’ as possible out of each hour and dime. Then I wake up one morning in… Read More

Where to begin. On a slope up from the Ganges lies the Manikarnika Ghat, that famous Indian crematorium we’ve always known about but not quite believed was real. I was rowed a short way from the hotel to the Manikarnika Ghat on two evenings, and one morning I went there for an informal but still fairly in-depth tour. No photos allowed of the actual burning so you have only my poor words, and… Read More

“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.” (Hermann Hesse/Siddhartha) Twenty-four… Read More