JUDITH'S JOURNAL

("Bach in Nepal")

 

 

Judith Glyde, for her sabbatical project in the fall of 1999, spent three months in the Khumbu area of the Himalayas with only a backpack and her cello.  As this area is typically Buddhist, the project was based on the idea that the Buddhist teacher goes into contemplative isolation to study and to practice.  Spending these months in an extremely secluded village named Syangma, Judith used this opportunity to re-explore the six suites for solo cello by Bach, and, in addition, worked on the idea of meditation and memorization.

Upon her return in December, Judith wrote: "Where shall I start?  Syangma, where I spent these past three months, was a very remote, extremely isolated Sherpa village of only 6 houses, looking across the valley at tremendous 23-24,000 foot peaks.  I did a huge amount of work: 5-6 hours a day of practice (relearned and memorized all 6 Bach suites), hiked a couple of hours a day in the jungles around the village (at 11,000 feet, and with Bengal tigers and monkeys roaming the hills, this was the highest jungle I had ever experienced!), learned some of the Sherpa language (very difficult, and as different from Nepalese as Japanese is to English), ate many different combinations of flour, water, and spices, and slept when the sun went down.  Trekking for a week to see  Mount Everest was an extraordinary experience!  One is awed by the opportunity to spend time in this truly 'top of the world, the Land of Snows.'"

"The experience, once put into hindsight (as I am still affected by the isolation of those three months), will remain the adventure of a lifetime - the most interesting thing I have ever accomplished.  The beauty of this highest part of the world is unbelievable.  I am ecstatic to be home!"