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Photo by Scott Diekema, Nepal Semester.

Wetness is the Essence of Beauty

It is clear that this land knows water, and knows it well. Whether it be the falling rain or hanging mist, by being here I have been in constant communion with moisture. Every night of the trip so far I have gone to bed with an encompassing residue of sweat on my body, which I actually enjoy. Most of the year I live in Colorado; a dry to very dry place. There is a certain cleanliness to an arid climate that I am very fond of, and I am learning to embrace the juiciness of humidity. Being in my room, lightly clothed and entirely damp, I feel very alive. I feel myself as a creature of the Earth, sticky with existence. I feel closer to my ascetic dreams of jungle dwelling.

The water seems to be seeping these jungle visions through my skin, making sure I see its beauty in the vast green terraces of rice and corn, in the wispy clouds that dance in ascension through the valleys and up to the peaks. These visions also assure I feel the danger and potentiality of a place so rampant with growth. In the farms and in the forest of Nepal I have scene the living teaching that energy is inherently neutral, in the sense that it isn’t selective. Where there is much energy, both seemingly good and seemingly bad grow. The jungle holds both the life sustaining sugars of sweet plump fruit and the mortality wounding venom of spiders and centipedes. I see this manifested in the culture and people as well. There is prolific universal healing of deep devotion and selflessness and there is also devastating poverty and hardship. There is the divine beauty and cleanliness of ashrams and monasteries and there is the heartbreaking filth of houseless beggars.

I am noticing and experiencing a rawness of existence here, an immediacy of life and death. There is an untamed possibility for freedom here. In many ways it seems this land operates outside of the tight regulations and safety nets that I am so used to. At times I am hugely inspired and in love and other times I am daunted and fearful. Overall, I am intrigued and amazed at the diversity of this country as I have scene it so far, and how each aspect of this place seems to hold the essence of its entirety.