The image is of a Root I collected while trekking to Gosaikunda Temple off of the Langtang trail. We had brought a huge bag of rice to give to the monks at the Temple as a food offering. When we got to the trailhead we were met by people who explained that the path was under three feet of snow. So we continued to Langtang instead using our rice for barter our way forward. At  some point of the trail I stepped on a root that was sticking out of the ground, I felt compelled to have it.

At first I thought I was doing people a service by removing this trip hazard. I was suffering of dysentery and altitude sickness, so everything was impulse and very little reflection. As I walked I carried the root, rubbing it and polishing it with my sweat, it slowly turned into this very compelling object. I noticed that people where transfixed by the root, and somehow they seemed more open to me than to other travelers.

Napo Langtang Khola
Langtang trek
Crossing the Langtang Khola with root in hand.

I realized later that what they where recognizing was the root, that they had passed over on the way up the trail. It’s another form of camouflage when travelling in unfamiliar territory, when in Rome, do as the Romans do, the first time I really got it was while travelling in the Ozarks and meeting up with all sorts of calamity and troubles. At some point I went into a Sally Ann and bought a bunch of second hand clothes and changed, after that everything shifted and I was able to go unnoticed.


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