源之原味

国家地理

 

Photos by @renan_ozturk // words by @jetbutterflies ~

All true stories are never-ending. ~
The shamans assured us that we would be fine. Before we descended onto the cliff to shoot for #thelasthoneyhunter assignment, sweaty and nervous in our bee suits, we drank milky alcohol and called out the names of the ancestors. Days before, we made the requisite offerings of live chickens and Johnny Walker whiskey to the forest spirits in a clearing deep in the jungle. The omens all looked good. Well, most of them. ~
The honey harvest is not the sort of thing that foreigners with cameras are welcome at. But I had spent ten years earning the trust and encouragement of the community. I hoped this applied to the local spirits too. ~
It was difficult to explain how Mauli Dhan Rai, the main character, transformed when the spirit came into him – how he was almost beyond human. The far-away eyes, the incredible strength, his imperviousness to the throat-clenching heights and beestings. ~
Once the story was told, the real story actually began. On his first ever trip to Kathmandu, riding the wave of celebrity that followed the project, Mauli Dhan lost his grip upon reality. His fierce eyes went dull. He didn’t know where he was. Kathmandu crashed around him. I called the shamans. The spirits were angry with him and possibly with me. I flew him in a helicopter back to Saadi – back home. The shamans gathered around him and carried him to the cliffs. Again, chickens were sacrificed. Whiskey was offered, and drank. There was shouting and dancing. Mauli was healed. ~
When I was last back in Saadi about a month ago, Mauli and I shared another glass of moonshine and the usual silence. We were both tired. I asked him if he thought that our cameras and our presence had upset the spirits. If his misfortune was tied to us and our interest in his story. His eyes darted. He took another sip. He looked me in the eyes. “I’m fine. The spirits just wanted their share of our good fortune.” ~

There is so much in this world that we still need to understand.
@ben_knight @sadiequarrier @taylorfreesolo @climber.abiral @m_synnott @irving_matthew

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