A week after our Artisans And Ashrams group graduated and our adventures ended, Caroline and I are still in Nepal extending and assimilating what we learned with our fellow Dragons. We are eating dal bhat as well as global foods. I am wearing my Nepali cap sometimes and by baseball hat other times. Most of all we are taking time to talk, to inquire, and to enjoy the company of Nepalis still. I feel a new kinship with people here and an ease (and delight) in connecting with them that’s fresh.
One of our host family members once said of the question ‘what time is it?’: “Clocks are clocks except when they’re lost or broken. They are just made up things by people. But time is always time.” It was a moment of levity but also a deep comment on a way of life here. Clocks are impermanent and often wrong and seem to take up so much stress and effort to think about. But time itself travels onward marked by joy and suffering, sunrises and sunsets, and its permanent and inexorable passage… time is a stream into which we slip to splash or fight or flow for a little while during our lives.
That comment sticks with me a week later as a symbol of the deep differences we dunked ourselves into with Dragons in Kathmandu Valley. Across generations of Artisans and temples and creative adventure of the gods, perhaps disrupted briefly by earthquakes or politics or suffering, the rhythm of time dominates. I can feel their sense of impermanence in most things in our lives, the comforting allure of the larger continuum of 330 million (or maybe one) gods, and the notion how they’re linked by karma action ideally with right mind and right action. My way may be different, but it’s richer and informed by these new perspectives.
Soon we will be home in our familiar comfortable lives. What will be new is a warm place in my heart that will hold Nepalese Newari smiles and cosmology, fellow Dragons’ enriching and inquisitive spirits, and a sense of adventure and joy in discovering the “otherness” amongst us. New fires rekindled. In gratitude… Namaste.