I'm so excited! Here's a schedule of some events that are planned around the launch of MARRIED TO BHUTAN. Namgay and I are taking the opportunity to visit old friends and have some fun. Keep looking because I'll add more.
WNYU Leonard Lopate, April 1st time: tba
BOOK LAUNCH! at Om Yoga in Union Square 7:00 pm, Friday April 1st
Om Yoga address: 826 Broadway # 6, New York, NY 10003 (Subway: 14 St - Union Sq)
** If you're in the area, please come! Especially if you're Bhutanese. We want to have a real Bhutanese party.
BOOK PARTY Cumberland Gallery in Nashville 5:30 - 8:30pm, Thursday, April 7th
Cumberland Gallery address: 4107 Hillsboro Circle, Nashville, TN 37215-2742
**Also, showing new, contemporary paintings by Phurba Namgay
ART ON THE LAKE, Guntersville, Alabama Saturday April 16th and Sunday April 17th
featuring art by Phurba Namgay and Married to Bhutan
** There will be sailing.
BOOKREADING at Bookman/Bookwoman in Nashville 5:30 pm Cinco de Mayo! May 5th
Address: Hillsboro Village
Wine and Cheese at GREEKS, (and books and art) Athens, TN
BOOKS AND ART at Asia Society, Washington, D.C. Date: May 19th
BOOK READING, Janice Mason Art Museum, Cadiz, KY June 4th, time tba
In three weeks, Married to Bhutan will appear. To say I'm excited doesn't quite express what's going on. Of course I'm twitching with anticipation and busy with events, mailings and promotions. I'm also gripped by nostalgia for all of our friends and family and the different places I wrote about, and I'm reliving writing the book. The first thing I wrote didn't end up as the first chapter. It's now Chapter 11, my response to something we found floating in the river beside our house. I wrote a lot in a little spot under a tree beside the Thimphu Chuu (river), as I watched clouds pour over the mountains, to meet the mist rising over Semtokha Dzong. I marked the seasons' progressions of farmers in their rice paddies, and then later the various building constructions that happened at a snail's pace. We all thought the expressway would never finish. It did. I remember the excitement that made us run outside when the infrequent helicopter landed at Lungtenphu bringing a State visitor. I remember peach season, followed by apple and pear season, and walnut season. I remember the year's first chilies in late June. Nothing ever tasted better. I wrote mostly in longhand in tiny notebooks that fit in my pockets, and now they are all over the place. Last night I found one filled with stories of Namgay's and my courtship. I went downstairs to where he was painting to read him a couple of stories. He laughed. "Was that really us?" I said. He said what he often says when I point out something I think is rather amazing. "It's just our life."
Once a few years ago Dasho Fritz came to check on the bees. He makes wonderful conversation, and as he discoursed about the bees he’d lift each comb out of the box slowly, gracefully, as the bees went about their business. They knew he was there but didn’t mind, dealing no stings. He didn't wear a bee suit.
The frame, active and alive dripped shining bees in the bright sun. They swarmed in small clouds and teamed and glistened on each frame. They were as busy and random in their movement as he was slow and deliberate in his, the counterpoint lovely to watch. One of the racks had only a few eggs and the combs were ill-formed, the bees sluggish and dull. A bug-- maybe a virus, he said and took a bottle of liquid antibiotic that he poured over the rack with one hand, the other holding the rack with bees swarming over it. Each hive has a queen, a big beautiful bee, wings longer than her shapely body, glistening, gold-flecked. She can make up to five thousand eggs a day. He said the bees can travel from the middle of Thimphu all the way to Dochula and then find their way back. They look for flowers there and then they come back and tell the others where to go. They give directions. How? I asked thinking they’d rub their wings together in typical insect fashion, like cicadas, crickets, a Morse Code with the wings. But no. It’s not with noise they communicate. In fact, they dance.