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I leave today for India. We’ll be in the southern region for a week before heading up to Ladakh. After a trek through the Himalayas, we will visit the Ajanta Buddhist temple caves in Maharashtra.

I have been trekking with this group of friends for over 15 years, but this is the first time I have been able to convince my partner David to come along. He’s only joining us for the first half of the trip, but it’s a huge step and I’m so happy he agreed. His attachment to the concept of daily showers has been a major impediment to his participation in these “off road” adventures in the past, so we plan to introduce him to the glories of being dirty and smelly with careful moderation.

Someone asked me, “Is this a pilgrimage?” I suppose the correct answer to that question is, perhaps.

I will be gone for most of August and will be spending my time outside the reaches of the cybernet. While I am gone, I have queued up a slew of my favorite poems to appear every other day. I will return to writing in real time on August 25.

This parting wisdom is compliments of Whiskey River, my favorite wisdom drinking hole…

Just live that life. It doesn’t matter whether it is life or hell, life of the hungry ghost, life of the animal, it’s okay; just live that life, see. And as a matter of fact there is no other way. Where you stand, where you are, that’s what your life is right there, regardless of how painful it is or how enjoyable it is. That’s what it is.

–Taizan Maezumi