🌊 Before going to bed last night the sounds of waves crashing against the distant cliffs, a mile away, was loud. In the middle of the night it was so loud that we could hear the roar inside the house with windows and doors closed!

I have since read that a 30-50ft swell is hitting the north shore until this evening.

Yesterday morning’s view at sunrise.

An early morning view at sunrise with lush green grass in the foreground, a variety of plants and trees in the middle, and a dramatic sky filled with golden clouds above

My wife gave me two of these metal tumblers from Japan for Valentines Day. They are great at keeping drinks cold…, and look good as well.

A textured metal tumbler on a cutting board. The background is softly blurred.

Yesterday was meant to be my next run on the Watch to 5K program, but I didn’t go out. I had the feeling of a cold coming on twenty four hours earlier, and yesterday I was not right. Today is also going to be a no show. I’m still not feeling right, and don’t want to do too much and just make myself feel worse. So hopefully tomorrow or Wednesday I’ll be back out there.

HAPPY LOSAR

Today is Losar, Tibetan New Year, the year of the Wood Dragon 2151.

Below is His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s New Year message to the Tibetan people.

Cartoon drawing of a man in a tracksuit running, a headband on his head, and writing below saying that week 3 of Couch to 5K program has been completed

Well there’s week 3 of the Watch to 5K program completed. The conditions were perfect today - overcast, barely a breeze, and a comfortable temperature. There was some stiffness, but I was feeling better with the longer runs.

Earthquake just felt on Maui. I’m getting texts from friends across the island with people having felt it. I was sitting in my truck after a run and it just started shaking. Then the guy next to me jumped out of his car thinking that someone was shaking it!

About 15 minutes ago an earthquake was reported, initially as a 6.3 and now as a 5.7 earthquake centered 2km from Pāhala on the Big Island. This report on Maui Now confirms the earthquake and says that no tsunami is expected.

🌴 After a week living in a wind tunnel, last night the winds finally appeared to have blown themselves out. It was still when I returned home yesterday evening, and we are waking up to the same this morning.

A Memory

I’ve just left Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram situated just outside of the small town of Sevagram in almost the geographical center of India. I had spent a couple of night’s at the ashram as part of a pilgrimage around India that I had set out on, to visit places connected with the life of Gandhi. He has been a big influence on my life, and I have read a lot by and about him.

I’m waiting at the railway station for a train, though I cannot remember my final destination. The station, from my memory, is simply one long platform. However, Wikipedia says the station is made up of five platforms. As I said, from my memory. Nothing else there. I am after all in the middle of nowhere. Maybe in the day it was a busy station as people made their way to visit Gandhi, but essentially this platform served a village. This was, now, not a major destination.

I arrive and sit on the platform floor to wait for my train. I have a few bananas with me that I bought on the way here.

After a while I am approached by two boys. One maybe pre-teen, another early/mid-teens. They start by asking me for money. I decided not to give them any change, instead I offered them a banana each - which they accepted. They joined me seated on the station platform. There was little to no language in common, but they somehow asked and I replied with my destination.

The time for the arrival of my train came and went. I don’t remember any announcements being made as trains intermittently came and went, but I really didn’t need that. My two companions appeared to know every train that passed through. Whenever a train came in site they would shake their head. I trusted them. I had no reason not to.

We sat there for a long while, from my memory, with animated (literally) banter in order to communicate. Eventually their shaking heads were replaced with a nod as the next train drew in. I thanked them both, said goodbye and hopped on the train.

I never forget that time at Sevagram Junction and my gratitude to those two boys.

A rainbow is never far away here, but the wet and windy weather is producing some good ones at the moment 🌈

The arch of a rainbow against a dark sky. Black gates in the foreground with start of a driveway. A tree and hedge go to the distance. A digger and house can be seen amongst green vegetation

Yes I keep saying it, but today’s Watch to 5K run felt hard. At one stage I thought that I was going to start walking during a running stage. Admittedly the island is still experiencing strong winds, but my legs felt a stiffness in them today. …Onto the next leg…

On a roll at the moment. This evening’s rainbow 🌈

A full arc rainbow against a dark, rain threatening sky. A bush and lawn in the background. A concrete wall and partial driveway with wood stacked against the wall in the foreground

The Rubin Will Close Its Physical Space and Become a β€˜Museum Without Walls’ - I’m sad to see this happening. I don’t visit New York often, but when the opportunity allowed I loved spending time (long periods of) in the Rubin Museum, taking in its displays of Himalayan art. Still a central tenant of Buddhism is impermanence.

🌬️ I’m not happy with this strong wind. It has been here for a few days now, and it looks like at least another two more days. I’d really appreciate it stopping.

My last run on the Watch to 5K program was last Wednesday, January 31st. The program is structured so that you run every other day. The day in between is for rest and to allow the body to build its strength. However, a cold front moved across the State this last weekend bringing some strong weather with it. Because of that I missed my Friday and Sunday runs.

Today I got back into running schedule, repeating the run that I did on Wednesday - the first of week three. Although the wind was strong, overall I felt comfortable today. Initially there was some stiffness in my legs. However, as I worked my way through that, I paced myself better than last week, most likely because through repetition I knew what was coming as I worked through today’s program.

I have been playing around with the Feedbin iOS app and found out completely by accident that it is possible to save searches. Searches of all feeds or selected. It feels like creating a feed of one’s own, looking out for subject matter that interests me.

The Story Behind the Photograph: A View Over the River Ganges

Looking down on a view over the River Ganges. It is a hazy view. In the foreground, upon which I might be sitting, are a pile of wooden poles, a couple of thatched roofs are to each side. The river has a variety of boats on them of different sizes, all full of people, and none motorized but rowed
Photo of a slide projected onto a wall.

It was mid November, 1989. I was four months into my journey through Central Asia. With my visa expiring, my time in Nepal was drawing to a close. Not feeling ready to go home, indeed a deeper sense of purpose and exploration beginning to arise from the trip thus far, I decided to travel down to India. I had left home with a few vague goals of things that I wanted to see or do, otherwise I was following my nose and seeing where the adventures would take me. During my travels to date I had experienced a deepening interest in Buddhism, a story within itself, and because of that I decided to head to Bodhgaya the place of Buddha’s Enlightenment. I was in Kathmandu and Bodhgaya is essentially directly south of the city, albeit a journey in itself. The route that I took went this way,

Kathmandu -> Birgunj at the Nepalese/India border -> Patna -> Gaya -> Bodhgaya

This journey started with an overnight bus ride from Kathmandu to Birgunj at the Indian border. I arrived at the border in the early hours of the morning, 4:30am to be precise. The temperature was cool. Streets were quiet. A full moon shaped like a rugby ball as it hung low in the sky was turning orange. A lot of rickshaws and donkey carts waited around.

I caught a rickshaw and headed towards the border, however I’m not sure that it was the 4km as the driver claimed!

From my memory the immigration and customs process on the Nepalese side was smooth and friendly, the Indian side was completely the opposite. I felt as though the officials were holding it against me to have them up at this unearthly hour…possibly a valid complaint?! From my journal,

Nepal immigration was friendly, let me keep my trekking permit as a souvenir, and as I left said “see you again.” … Then Indian customs; unfriendly, short curt questions, at least he didn’t waste time emptying my pack. Immigration was equally unfriendly, but at least there was a smile out of the guy halfway through the proceedings. He spent a while finishing some other paperwork…, ruled some lines in a book and then dealt with us; a Japanese couple as well. I had filled out my forms and sat there and watched him for a long time.

Once I was through all the red tape I went in search of the bus to Patna. Six hours later, and a couple of stops for chai on the way, the bus came to halt just short of Patna. It turned out to be a demonstration of some sort (I found out later that elections were happening, and this demonstration was related to them). Once we were underway again the bus crossed a long bridge spanning the River Ganges, on which Patna sits.

On arriving at the bus station I quickly found a rickshaw. I asked to be taken to a particular hotel that I had in mind to stay at, but the driver took me to different one. I didn’t know where I was and so I went in to see what I could make of this hotel. I managed to bargain down the price of the room and then the hotel owner took me out on his motorbike to look for a bank to change money - I had been in his country for less than a day. I don’t know why he did this though as it was a Sunday? Banks were closed. I would try again tomorrow.

The next morning the owner of the hotel woke me up, I assume by knocking on my door though I have no record as to his method. He asked me if I would like breakfast - tea and an omelette with toast. With food inside me I went downstairs to chat with him in his cloth shop before heading out to look for a bank. This is where the subject matter for the photograph started to emerge.

On stepping out of his shop I was immediately swept away by a mass of humanity. I was only going in one direction: where the the crowds, old and young, were going. The hotel owner had told me that today was the Hindu Festival, β€Œ Kartika Purnima, and (as he wrote in my journal),

All people want to bathe in River Ganga.

Down by the river I climbed onto a wall. I shall allow my journal to explain the scene that I looked out on (the photograph can do the rest),

[The River Ganges] must be 3km wide at this point. The far bank was a mass of people, all sizes of boats were plying between the two shores, being rowed and laden with people. On my shore people were bathing in the Ganges, some fully clothed, men in loin cloths or mini sarongs.

And from my memory there was a haze in the air, a haze that in time I came to associate with India - dust driven up by the shear number of people and a mist from this time of year, Autumn slowly crossing into Winter.

In time I went on my way to find a bank and was able to change some travelers cheques. The remainder of the day I spent in Patna. I met an American who had been on the same bus as me from the Indian border and we agreed to travel down to Bodhgaya together. We ate lunch and stopped to watch a fortune teller who was using a bird to pick cards. That evening I returned to the Ganges. It was quieter now. Groups were gathered performing various rituals, symbols playing, incense burning, dancing. Some were cooking. A cremation was taking place to one side.

I returned to my hotel to sleep at the end of my first full day in India.

This morning’s rainbow 🌈

A complete rainbow arching across a small valley, grass and shrubs in the foreground, the ocean in the background

We went to a birthday party on the south side of the island last night. It was an enjoyable evening. Just before sunset a whale and her calf swam by the house where the party was being held. As if to send birthday wishes, the calf waved it tail in the air a few times as it went by.

A collection of lit candles and string lights set on a vibrant, multicolored textile surface outdoors at dusk, with silhouettes of palm trees in the background.

A silhouette of a tree against a twilight sky, with small lit lanterns along a garden path leading to a house with illuminated windows in the background.

Sunset at a beach with silhouettes of palm trees, a colorful sky, and green bush in the foreground.

Resting and warming my feet on rocks around a campfire, at night.

Unbeknownst to the friend who text me this, I was just about to walk into the chemist (pharmacy) when he sent me this.

I miss Adams' writing.

Space … is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy