1988, Khumjung, Nepal
Plate 09, 27x18
Thyangboche monastery - an old Nepalese structure that has sheltered many a soul from the weather, from despair, from aloneness - is large and impressive, yet with so much fine detail. Set as if from Shangri-La in James Hilton's book Lost Horizons, it is protected by several mountains. It is accessible and dynamic but also secluded, ever shrouded in a heavy cloud cover. The thrill of taking the picture was the luck of catching the three mountains without total cloud cover. Even partially, and for only a moment in time, the peaks set up the shot. When I looked back a moment later, one of the peaks was already gone from sight.
What was so amazing for me was being with people that were smiling, animated and dynamic in a well-crafted complex of buildings. It seemed to me that this was life - little if anything was missing - and it was capped off with rhythmic, melodic, ever-present chanting. I was feeling far away, but if I were far away, what was I far away
from that did not have its equal right here? All was a work of art — the people, the land, the mountain, the building, the chant, the quiet. One might reach up and touch the very gates of heaven but seldom had the urge to do so.
The magic of being there truly took the picture. I only held the camera.