by Jnana Hodson
Somehow I’ve been fascinated with Tibet and its culture since childhood. That was long before Buddhism became fashionable in many American circles and long before I took up yoga, in an order that traced its lineage to a Himalayan ashram and its teacher. Tibetan Buddhism, for that matter, appeared as a central element of my first published novel, Subway Hitchhikers.
Some of that interest can be traced to a 1949 Lowell Thomas black-and-white documentary I saw several times as a kid — maybe in an art museum auditorium and later on odd-hours television. The difficulty of entering the country, even before the perilous flight of the Dalai Lama, fed the imagination of an adventure-hungry youngster growing up in the flatlands of the American Midwest.
And, yes, some of my interest can be traced to a fascination with mountains, too, so when you added the first successful summit climbs on Everest to the mix, it became a potent combination.
All of this adds to my pleasure in announcing that three of my poems are included in the new edition of Teesta Rangeet, a literary journal published in the landlocked Indian state of Sikkim, high in the Himalayan mountains. It may not be Tibet, but it’s close enough for my admiration — and gratitude.