Monk on Wheels

 

-Prologue-

(The Muslims in this area don’t wail until 5:30am for their morning call to prayer (Adhaan). They are at it at quarter to (4:45am)… Of course I have them beat, as I begin my morning workout at 2:30, for the two - (sometimes) three - hours it takes to complete. It is an extensive workout I have developed throughout the years and for the last four months have honed to a point where it has accelerated my healing process exponentially.)

 

My Pai

It is raining – beautifully, as I lay on the best mattress system I have ever come across in my nearly 54 years on the planet.

It is the rainy season (re: monsoon time), and I am reading a novel about the future from the New York author Caleb Carr. I am just past the middle of the book as it is just past the middle of the day and I have just come back from a walk around Pai, Thailand.

There was some purpose in my walk as I wanted to check a sign I saw when I returned to this place three day ago.

It was a sign about a free cooking class.

(Oh, the sound of the rain is so very beautiful.)

After studying the posted map of where the cooking class is to be held I continued my walk, turning left to check out a long-sleeved (light weight) denim shirt I had noticed two days ago. It has four pockets and if my current budget allows, I will be able to buy it just before I leave this healing place, a few days after my Life-day.

There was no one in the shop, so I just finger-touched the hanging shirt and walked up the street turning right, at the next intersection looking to see if the mushroom man was at his wife’s shop in his usual position in his hammock, reading a book – Just two days ago when I met him for the first time.

I had told him, his name is Willow…I had told Willow about Carr’s great read, ‘The Alienist,’ along with its follow-up, ‘The Angel of Darkness.’

The shop wasn’t open; so I retraced my steps but didn’t make the returning left turn, instead, continued straight.

A procession was leaving  a temple as I passed the store I have two days earlier brought a two pocketed light weight blue denim shirt from, giving the woman owner a wave, which she returned. She remembered me from the purchase of the shirt, and because I came by just yesterday looking for a (hand) towel, which she doesn’t sell.

Instead of continuing down the road, where my guest house is located, a little distance away. But I didn’t go straight to the guest house. Instead I turned left on a side street where some days ago. I walked a bit and turned right on to the side street where Ginger’s restaurant is located, and went to her place. She was closed, the sign said, until tonight at 6, when there would be a buffet. I know I won’t be going to the buffet tonight as I started a fast just yesterday; only fruit in the morning and salad in the afternoon. Even though today I will have almonds instead of salad.

I then retraced my steps back to the road on which I am living for the next 24 days; before returning to Chiang Mai, then Bangkok, and finally to Cape Town, South Africa -- where I intend to make my base of operations for the rest of my days.

After I crossed the main intersection, I headed for the place with a very tasty falafel, hummus, and tahini on pita bread sandwich.

Before I got to that eating establishment a turned right on yet another side street, and walked this street past the tattoo place. The street eventually dumped me onto one of the four major streets in Pai. I turned right on that street and followed it to the end, which transforms to a bamboo bridge spanning a ravine leading to the establishment showing movies on DVD nightly.

Just two nights ago I saw a Johnny Depp film there. I don’t think I will be seeing the Russell Crowe starrer tonight, so I retrace my steps once again and made a left onto the road that ends on the major street to which I am the only guest at my guest house as the tourist season is over.

It was sunny this entire time and I was thinking of visiting moon village, which would have necessitated me making a left turn on my street instead of the right that bought me ‘home;’ And back to this bed and reading and drinking water as I ease into my fast, which will last I don’t know how long – certainly no longer than 21 days.

As I got in the door and disrobed and made myself comfortable, propping up pillows to read, the rain began. Thus I had a perfect walk in the middle of a perfect day, in a perfect place called Pai.

…Near the end of a perfect six month trip; closing a stellar journey that started some, almost, nine years ago.

 

Epilogue:

Edited from the Schirin-Jan letters

It is now officially official; my Life-day, as it is 6:15pm in the South Bronx of New York City

– Where I first breathed breath; while wailing my presence to the universe.

…Life in this realm of what I used to believe was an imperfect world.

Yes, I could be heard to say most of my life:

We are all living in purgatory;

for if things are perfectly good, we would be in heaven;

and if everything is perfectly evil we would be in hell!

 

But, I no longer believe this to be the case; not after last night.

A perfect night.

A night that found me in a hammock, rocking, as fire flies danced all around. And the blue candle I lit bore a steady flame.

As the rushing river sent its’ sound-soothing through me and onto the full moon, which cleared a path through the bright cloudy night sky here in a place call Pai.

 

As I lay here with the companionship of the sounds of the night – insects, and animal, with one of the dogs asleep under this meditative shelter… I realize many things… but a most important revelation comes through louder. It stems from something my host is fond of saying for those who can hear: Everything past now is a lie!

 

After last night, in the self-contained holy place, this phrase now means, for me:

Everything in the past is the perfect truth, and as I accept the perfection of this truth, I will push forward, onward – making a lie of the future.

 

These were/are my thoughts on this life-day in the creative continuance of my Life journey, 2004…….Anon

 


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