(Not) A Good-Bye

Boudhanath, Kathmandu – Walking Away

From me to you — a quiet good-bye:

There is no time for anything else;

You know me, and you know that I can’t

Make speeches, loud but forgettable;


I’ve talked to you for months now and months:

Roaming your streets, taking in your nights,

Getting soaked in your rains, letting in your cold,

Making your time, your rhythm, your prayers – mine;


From me to you – a small good-bye smile;

I have no strength for anything else;

I have been so alive here, I’m tired

Of the joys and pains you’ve showered me with;


I leave you to be somebody else;

I’ll keep you in my heart as you are;

I thank and bless you millions of times,

And hope that this, in spite of all, is not a good-bye

Blog Update II

Many of my readers seem to have enjoyed my little mountaineering stories, which, in fact, had more to do with mountaineers – with me, the people I met at Bezengi and our interactions – than mountaineering as a sport. After all, I am more of a writer (hopefully) and student of human characters and moods than a sportswoman.

As my readers might remember from the previous Blog Update about the Caucasus trip, I was at Bezengi mountaineering camp for a reason, which was to get the fitness and training to climb a mountain elsewhere. I can now reveal that ‘elsewhere’ is the Himalayas in Nepal and that the mountain is called Manaslu. It is the 8th highest mountain in the world and, statistically, the 4th deadliest of the 14 ‘eight-thousanders’ (mountains of over 8000 metres/ 26,247 feet in altitude). To my knowledge, no Russian woman has ever successfully climbed it before. I would appreciate it if my readers could let me know if they’d like to read about that adventure of mine, too.

The Manaslu expedition, however, is not the sole purpose of my upcoming trip to Kathmandu: I hope to stay in the capital of Nepal after the climbing is over and take a few courses in Buddhist Studies and Himalayan languages – Tibetan and Nepali – at the local university. I have yet to make quite a few arrangements if my plan is to work and, therefore, expect to be busy in the course of the next ten days or so; I fear, I won’t have much time to write. Bear with me and, yet again, wish me luck as I will require a lot of it!