Getting rid of karma on the trail to freedom. Pack on my back. The blinding Himalayan peaks like the gods of promise. Sick, tired, dirty. A long way from coat and tie and initiation fees. Ancient trails. Sleeping under stars or in crumbling buildings. Alone. Climbing and climbing. The days and nights turning one into another. Glaciers and rivers that had been running thousands of years but now running down. The world falling apart. Chasing my tail. The beauty of it despite the pain and loneliness. How did I survive that alien landscape and culture? Ride the Ganges down to the Indian Ocean with the ancient masters who probably never had giardia. I shed some things on the trail. Coming back was a bigger nightmare than going. But another plank had come loose. Time again to quit the classroom after ten years of teaching English. The trail to nirvana next passed through a small Midwest town in the middle of nowhere. I love the metaphors. Landscapes floating on emptiness. The untraveled distance between A and B getting shorter.