Sunday, March 26, 2006

Jamaica Kincaid writes Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalaya

Check this out:

Jamaica Kincaid, the woman born in Antigua, a Carribean Island, writes about Nepal!

I found the book fascinating. Here we have this amazing woman who has written for The New Yorker, who loves gardening..but where? In Vermont? writing about a seed collecting twenty day tour of the Himalayas. What IS she doing there?

I know, I know...there is no rhyme nor reason for the choices we made in terms of where we go and what we do with our lives when a challenge is issued, especially if that challenge involves some aspect of our lives that we hold dear.

That is the case with this little book. Simply written and at the same time full, jam packed full, of those epiphanies that can only come when we leave our comfort zone and stretch our psyches to do the impossible, when we decide that an adventure is just what the doctor ordered..not that Kincaid had a doctor suggest that she needed to stretch. Her own internal psyche seems to have urged her forward.

And with whom besides Nepalese does she come in contact? You guessed it. The Maoist guerillas of Nepal not only manage to squeeze some extra cash out of the small party of 'seed collectors' with whom Kincaid is travelling, but later they set up an all day 'class' conducted in Nepali for these intrepid travellers.

It's a good read if you love women's stories about the wilderness; a better read if you enjoy reading about mature women stretching their muscles as well as their courage in search of growth..not just the botanical sorts of growth, but also the interior epiphanies that make maturity the best part of life.