Taking flight.

I’ve made peace with the crows. They are now my companions on this trek. They coax me and nudge me with their now seemingly less hideous squawks. They remind me to bring out my inner eagle. I guess we all have that. Sometimes it’s buried so deep that you have to put yourself in situations that must summon it.

I am on this one ridiculously upwards climb. And I am looking for that damn inner eagle. I am also scrambling like crazy looking for the next spot to place my foot on. I am careful, not stupid (no chuckles from the audience please). I want to spare myself any injury. After all, this is only Day 2 and I got at least 3 more days of climbing before the decent.

I am also careful about stepping on donkey poop. Mountain donkeys are amazing creatures. They are a constant presence. So is their poop. Each time you hear their bells, you better move out of the way. The way that is not on the cliff side. Otherwise, you will become dinner to the vultures if you don’t. I am certain they are waiting below.

These 4 legged mountain Ubers know exactly where to place their hoofs. And I am learning. Keep your head down and keep moving. Getting there is inevitable. You will get there.

I am beginning to notice the smell of the rhododendron and pines. I had no idea that rhododendrons come in the form of giant tall trees. I guess when you’re competing with pines who think they’re skyscrapers, you find your inner skyscraper.

The climb continues. It goes on for at least 2 miles. Not even a teeny plateau to feel some accomplishment. Some hope. You have to work this out internally with that inner eagle of yours. Nature is not helping here. There are no villages or even a sign of humanity along this stretch of the trek. It is 4 miles of wilderness. I am beginning to dissolve into it.

We finally come to one small, and I mean small, stretch of relative flatness. My guide points way up to the sky. I look. He is pointing to a metal bridge over the Milky River that I have to crane my neck to see. He tells me we have to cross it. I realize it’s high. I know it’s scary. Those things don’t matter at this point. What does matter is that I have to get my already handed ass, several times over, up 1000 more feet to cross it. 300 meters of sheer torture. I am summoning my inner eagle like hell. He is responding in fits and spurts. But at least responding at this point.

By the time I get there my ass is numb. My legs are noodles. My body is pissed. And I’m breathing like a covid patient on a ventilator (too soon?).

I slowly begin the crossing. The bridge looks and feels higher from this end. I want to listen to the voices inside my head. I mean really listen. The insecurities. The uncertainty. The fear. I take that first step onto the metal slats. I want to savor each and every one. I walk slowly and deliberately. I touch the peace flags fluttering in the wind and I stop in the middle of this narrow metal hammock strung across this snaking magical river below. I do a slow 360. I want to take it all in. I want to dissolve further.

In the distance I see clouds forming donut circles around white mountain peaks. Fog is crawling across the valley. It is windy and cold and I can barely hear the roar of the river below. A light snow begins to fall. I am being kissed by these tiny flakes. I feel the wind across my face and I look up to the heavens. I stretch my arm out and I am ready to fly.

Next up… Namche Bazzar. Nemaste

PHOTO 2024 02 01 07 10 14

For Langston Hughes on His 123 Birthday

Speech given on February 1, 2024 in Havana, Cuba In 1927 Langston Hughes walked into a Cuba amid an emerging community of artists, intellectuals, and radicals.  He saw a “sunrise in a new land [– a day – in his words]sic – full of brownskin surprises, and hitherto unknown contacts in a world of color.”  … Continued

PALESTINE WEEK 1920 x 1080 px 2

Palestine Week 2024

January 18, 2024 – January 25, 2024 In keeping with our ongoing mission of uplifting racial and cultural connections, Busboys and Poets is hosting Palestine Week (January 18 through January 25, 2024). This week-long series of events will offer a diverse range of programming featuring Palestinian food, music, dance, poetry, discussions, and other enriching events. … Continued

Right to Know Our Food

Right to Know Our Food

Once again the issue of transparency and trust in our food system arises

Vegan Chicken StirFry 1

Dine After Dark

We’re proud to be joining Dine After Dark along with other great local businesses to make dining-out more convenient for our Muslim community celebrating Ramadan. 3.5 million Americans and 1.6 billion people worldwide celebrate Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, as a time of reflection and charity. We’re inviting customers to “Dine After … Continued

Congressman Jamie Raskin on “The Takeout” in Takoma

Congressman Jamie Raskin on “The Takeout” in Takoma

Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin joined CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett at Busboys and Poets in Takoma to talk about impeachment hearings on Capitol Hill, his role on the House Judiciary Committee and whistleblowers on this week’s episode of “The Takeout.” Air Date: Nov 15, 2019 Watch: https://www.cbs.com/shows/the-takeout/video/e2CSBYC8B5kwVVvapreFLu4MUNLRZl3_/maryland-congressman-jamie-raskin-on-the-takeout-11-15-19/