Upcoming Shows

We've been named as a official selection in the Southern Circuit of Filmmakers Tour, March 17-24.

Shows are in Hapeville, GA 3/17, Madison, GA 3/20, Orangeburg, SC 3/22, Gainsville, GA 3/23, and Manteo, NC 3/24.
Learn more by going to the SouthArts blog.

View the theatrical trailer for A Gift for the Village

Sunday, June 24, 2007

from Jane in Pokhara on Sunday

Hello Friends, We just got back from our boat ride on Phewa Lake, the centerpiece of this twon. Last time Jenna and I were here was Thanksgiving Day of 2000, and I remember reaching for a dragonfly on a branch overhanging the lake and very nearly tipping us into the water. I keep wondering what lives in this lake--what the strangest beast is. I imagine something like a prehistoric fish that has been declared extinct, but, surprise, lives in plenty in this black water. We paddled to the island in the center of the lake, where there is a Durga temple and ten thousand pidgeons which we fed with a twenty rupee bag of corn and millet and barley. The cooing of that many pidgeons was like the sound of chanting, but Reba still said that Jayeanne Bridges would have a heart attack since she has a phobia of birds. We talked to a large group of frinds who had traveled here on vacation from the state of Punjab in north India, and took beautiful photographs of all of us together. It was a good feeling to realize that there are still contingents of the world who think well of Americans, since I know our national position in the world has fallen into some relative shame and disrepair in the last decade. Anyway, Reba may or may not tell you that we drive our boat backwards the whole time (I think the guys at the dock were laughing at us). Carl, your wife got a workout on that lake. She missed your steering, and I think she thinks of me as a totally useless boatmate.

I want to talk a little about the plants and the lushness here, and what one writer calls the "jungle tide," the sense of plants trying to reclaim tamed places and return them to green wildness, despite the lack of any system to dispose of plastic and other non-biodegradable forms of trash.

This morning I sat under a mimosa tree, but its flowers were not the light ballerina pink color we know. These mimosa flowers were quinacridone, an ultra-saturated raspberry color. Around me were lime trees, and pomegranate, and papaya, and banana trees with their enormous strange upward-pointing clusters of stubby green fruit and their gigantic pendulous purple-hepatic modified petals around small and simple flowers.

The Kathmandu Guest House of Pokhara, the affiliate of our place in Kathmandu, has a l\awn kept like a putting green to its eges, but after that, just beying the place where the gardener has drawn his line, plants are absolutely spilling over like the greenery in Sarah Eyre's lush hothouse: tropical hibiscus, zinnias, oversized morning glories, huge marigolds and poinsettia trees.

The common sparrows of this place are snow-white herons. With their stiffened serpentine necks they fly so calmly here that they seem the confident bearers of some profund news.

What could the news be? Something sweet, and calm as a lullaby; some kind of good and world-relevant news. Something on the scale of global warming, but happy. Something about extermination and extinction, but this time, not the old sad clearing out of the dinosaurs--not that extinction. And also not the possible future obliteration of all life on the planet Earth.

This time, the white herons in their dozens here all seem to say--with their flights so impressively calm and deliberate and seemingly purposeful, all across this wild sky--this time the extinction seems to be about the end of what Hindu literature calls the Kali-Yug, the Age of Chaos and Destruction. But what would it mean, if these herons were all the bearers of something so happy, as it seems to me? What would it mean, to have these white birds flying with great news about all of us in this world?

It would mean no more and no less than these things: simply, that these nearly microscopic ants on my tea saucer (and later, their cousins in Reba's sugar bowl)are fine where they are. And that the cell phone photos we were shown of our young Pokhara Guest House manager, Kumar Parbat, with his young wife Srijanna and their 9-month old son Krish, shows three people as important as any other three people you could know by fame or accomplishment, anywhere in this world. And that A Gift for The Village is times perfectly, and is perfectly equipped, and is being filmed perfectly by Jenna and Tom (I can tell when I watch them), and photographed beautifully by Sherrie, who keeps smiling and shaking her head, and conceived and reconceived better and better with more and more perfect layering each day and hour of our trip.

One final example of what present perfect means in Nepal. I had a long and thorough talk with Kumar this morning, even before my early tea. Kumar has been managing this hotel for eight years. He is young and thin and handsome and sweet-faced, and said that he is "same my son," meaning we are family. You should have heard him read aloud with brilliant musical accent our letter from the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the one in support of our project, which he put to his forehead after he finished reading, in the traditional fashion of taking a blessing from anything that has kind content. I explained to Kumar in great detail how for the seven years since Jenna and I were here the last time, this project has been afoot; and how each stage of the way, we have not had enough money, or time (at least Jenna and I work two to three jobs apiece)--and yet, here we are. I told Kumar that getting such an enormous thang-ka on the plane going to Jomsom worries me, since the thang-ka, now brocaded, is truly gigantic.

After he understood everything about our film and the commitment of each of us on the team, Kumar declared that he would be going with us to the airport for our first attempt at a 6 a.m. flight to Jomsom. I will fight Gurkha airlines itself if necessary, he said, and struggle myself to insure that this thang-ka gets on the flight out to Mustang. "After all," he smiled beatifically, "I am never meeting a man like you, Madame Jane." Present PERFECT in Nepal. With Love, Jane-Man, Slayer of Dichotomies, Crosser of Passes, Flyer with Huge Paintings to Villages So Remote that I am BOUND to Be Famous There


Anonymous said...

Jane, you truly have a gift, not just for the village, but for all of us sharing this experience with you through this blog. You see and comprehend everything around you so completely and then share it unselfishly with the rest of us. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Your description of the hopeful message from the Herons means so much! Thank you! Love, Gretchen

Anonymous said...

Ah, my beautiful friend, such an amazing story of the day, the people, the plants, the wildlife. You bring to life this place that seems so far away from us back home. Thank you for the words that paint a thousand pictures. Send my love to Reba, Jenna, and Jason.

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