India Night: Prelude to Rajasthan

On Thursday, Terri and Joe Gaffney so graciously hosted an India evening at their home in Capitol Hill.  The purpose of the evening was to have a gathering for those who are interested in the February Rajasthan trip I am a part of,  to talk about the trip (questions and answers), and enjoy an evening of great company and delicious food.

It was a really nice evening.  Rick shared a beautiful poem he had written in India years ago. I can’t believe I actually made Rick stand up to read it.  I did that because Rick reads it so well, with such passion, and this poem really does deserve to be read standing up! I have included it below.  It is magical and I think Rick really captures how our “vision” of the world around us sharpens and changes after a profound travel experience, especially after the travel experience to India:

I Saw a Bird

by Rick Clark

I saw a bird. With copper head and crest, starched white bib, turquoise wings and tail. I swear to you, here at home, I saw this bird— that such a bird exists. How can I expect you to believe me? —that, when it flew, it lit up the sky around me, cut a permanent swath of color across my retina that I couldn’t erase if I wanted to. Excuse me if I’ve returned to you a little crazy, for I’ve seen a bird whose head and crest are as coppery as a newly minted penny, breast white as the most benign of clouds, wings and tail cut from the sapphire of another planet.

I told you it’s beautiful! 

And Kelley read a deeply meaningful excerpt about travel. The excerpt is included below.  She began with this:

In his international bestseller, The Pilgrimage, Paulo Coelho’s wise Italian guide on the road from France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain says some remarkable words about travel.

Hinting at the importance of being a pilgrim rather than a tourist, Petrus describes why travel can be so transformational:

“When you travel, you experience, in a very practical way, the act of rebirth. You confront completely new situations, the day passes more slowly, and on most journeys you don’t even understand the language the people speak. So you are like a child just out of the womb. You begin to be more accessible to others because they may be able to help you in difficult situations. And you accept any small favor from the gods with great delight, as if it were an episode you would remember for the rest of your life. At the same time, since all things are new, you see only the beauty in them, and you feel happy to be alive. That’s why a religious pilgrimage has always been one of the most objective ways of achieving insight.”

There’s still time to sign up for the February 5-18, 2011 trip to Rajasthan India.   Go to http://knowindiatravel.com to see the fantastic itinerary we have planned.  And I will be leading the group yoga every day for two weeks!

Here we are lining up to help ourselves to an array of very tasty India cuisine:

Kelley McHenry:

My Rickster:

The group around la tavola:

My plate overflowing with a tease of what is to come x 100!:

Thank you Terri and Joe for hosting such a wonderful evening gathering at your beautiful home!

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