I was bitten by a leech on Sunday. I discovered, then, that I absolutely hate leeches. I am revolted by leeches. Now I am questioning my entire moral system and how it failed me at last, with leeches.
We hiked a beautiful mountain, through fog mixed with clouds, winding up and up and up past mossy trees and the swishing sounds of monkeys in the canopy. The steps were steep and slippery, and I lost myself in the mindset of one step, then another. When we finally reached the top we were all exhausted. We climbed a final set of creaking steps up a ladder-like construction which was the point from which most of the prayer flags were hung. At the top, we breathed.
It was only a few short minutes later that I found out the cute “inch-worms” I’d found were actually leeches. They were all over my shoes, thus the follow photo occurred where I was trying so hard to seem like I didn’t care, but I was mid-slamming my shoes onto the pavement when someone said “look up.”
On another slightly related note, I’ve caught the cold and am more snotty than I can ever remember being. I sit in class, trying to control my nasal flow, sniffing the coffee our Genlak (teacher), Eben, drinks and wanting more than anything to cave to the craving. It’s all part of the experience and although I am partly miserable, I somehow find it absolutely hilarious.
We’ve begun to really hit the road running work-wise here at Yantra House. I presented on Friday about Chenrezig, the Tibetan Buddhist Bodhisattva of Compassion. I checked six books out of the library at Yantra House yesterday and read parts of all of them then wrote 900+ words of an essay about Buddhist death meditation and ritual. I’ve begun to form the idea of my Independent Study Project. I feel like I’m floating in a jello-like substance of information and books, but in a pleasant and kind of romantic way which would’ve been better described through a pleasant and romantic metaphor but whatever. It’s great, though. I fall asleep with books on my chest, or I wake up with one hand shoved in a book as a last-moments-of-consciousness attempt to save the page. I hear my Amala call, “Sara-la, Sara-la?” and I groggily stumble into the kitchen for scalding Nepali tea and flatbread with peanut butter I bought, because I already ate all of Amala’s peanut butter.