Author Archives: Paul Biancardi

June 20

Sounds from a Sledge Hammer

Each day I stare at a painting purchased from a local Nepali Artist. It is a watercolor representation of every day street life in downtown Kathmandu. I love watercolor. Something about undefined and imperfect shapes helps to blur the lines of reality making immersion within the art much easier. It brings me back, keeps me […]

December 13

Fleeting Moments

Weaving through the “hillsides” (in Nepal anything below 7000ft is called a hill) we gradually increase our altitude. Eventually the smog and dust of Kathmandu valley vanishes behind as each peak steadily edges further and further into a clear royal blue sky. It is a perfect day to fly. In the distance, vast white capped […]

December 05

Life… Now for the Living!

An intensely beautiful landscape is splayed out before me. Lush tall green mountains are split by a powerful river descending steeply on each side. Frothing rapids 530 feet below create a calming sound, helping to relax the mind and steady resolve for the perceived insanity looming ahead. Steadily I traverse the steel wire suspension bridge as it […]

November 28

Lost in Translation

Nothing is easy in Nepal, as if the country is testing its inhabitants. Roads are rough, mountains high and weather extreme. There is just no getting around it, life in Nepal is hard. Whether you are a mountain terrace farmer, rising early each morning to climb endlessly up and down your fields, or a taxi […]

November 14

Small Victories

As the sun rises through an early morning mist a lone cock crows in the distance. He is quickly joined by others; roosters, cows, dogs and goats all sound off culminating in a reverberating chorus impossible to ignore. Reluctantly eyes emerge from tightly closed lids and begin adjusting to the diffused dawn light. Huddled in […]

November 07

Metaphors Abound

The blazing afternoon sun and heavy cloud cover maliciously combine to create a steam filled oven that threatens to prematurely end this day’s impromptu quest. Fighting exhaustion, I stubbornly wipe away the stream of warm salty sweat flowing freely from my face. Gradually I fall into a focused rhythm. Muscles tense as each foot is […]

October 24

Differing Priorities

It starts with a nuzzle, then a pet then a look into the eyes. She is not pretty. Evidence of a hard life is literally etched into her emaciated body. Hip bones and ribs protrude from thinning charcoal fur. Scars from past battles over food and territory litter sagging skin. She smells of sewage, is […]

October 17

Seeds of Change

Innocent seeds fall softly upon an enormous abandoned temple. They settle into minute crevices of moist aging stone. The environment is perfect and before long the spung tree seeds splinter, roots sprout and tiny leaves unfurl catching strong tropical rays. Time passes and the seedlings slowly grow. Their roots spread between and through tiny fissures […]

October 10

Rising from Ruin

I have arrived on a beautiful Asian coastline, having finished a week home with wife and family. It was a whirl wind of lunches, dinners, and joyful gatherings. Time with loved ones always seems to pass much too quickly. While strolling down a stretch of crowded beach, I reflect on relationships left behind, new ones […]

October 03

A Simple Recipe

Close your eyes. Picture your favorite meal. Imagine the sights and smells emitted from that delicious plate, bowl or pot of steaming goodness. Is it sweet or savory? Who gave you the recipe? Visualize them teaching you how to fold, smooth, stir, kneed, sear, sauté or measure the ingredients in just the right way. When […]

September 20

Treacherous Transportation

Brakes whine whilst an obnoxious elongated horn blows, beckoning more passengers to board an already overcrowded bus. As it stops, the driver’s assistant jumps from his perch, yelling destinations and collecting cash from any willing participants. More and more people pile in through the door eventually filling every crevasse of extra space. Bodies crush together. […]

September 12

Familiar Scenes in Unfamiliar Settings

Heavy mist clings to a lush mountain landscape. Each evenings cool humid air invites dense fog to descend from lofty altitudes flooding the surrounding valleys as if it was bedding down for a restful nights slumber. At dawn, for a few fleeting moments, as light illuminates the dark sky, vast towering peaks of the Himalayan range are […]

September 05

Peaceful Chaos

Drums boom and symbols clang in a steady rhythm delivered by a seemingly endless processional of festival revelers. The infectious beat quickly invades the senses, creeping into every body part and manifesting immediate symptoms. Shoulders and hips pulsate, heads and bodies bob up and down, some jump to the groove while others break out in […]

August 29

A Labor of Love

Elongated creases extend from inset gaunt eyes. Dark tanned skin flows delicately past a flattened nose to lips that smile with pride. The elegant folds seem to grasp hold of virtually every surface, encapsulating the face and amplifying each gesture made. These premature wrinkles are earned by years of toiling unprotected, at high altitude, under […]

August 22

Managing the Monkey

Inhale… Exhale… Repeat… focus only on the air flowing in and out of your lungs. Train your eyes on a single spot.  Stay completely still.  Do not address that itch on your nose or the tingle in your arm.  If you have thoughts of daily life, release them from your mind.  Inhale… Exhale… Repeat…  If […]