Friday, November 24, 2006

The nature in us....


The picture above is the crepe myrtle tree I planted a few years ago in the back yard. It is ready to go into a long rest for the winter. Even in California, the trees eventually shed their leaves, reduce themselves to the minimum to store their energy.

And I seem to be going into hibernation as well. Last night, I fell into bed at 9.00 PM to watch CSI. I fell asleep almost immediately and didn't get up for 11 hours. It's this kind of thing that reminds me that we're all still a bunch of mammals, like the rest of the mammals, and the patterns of light do affect our sleeping and waking.

However, this is one I hope to conquer. Ordinarily, I like to get up and have my exercising done before the world comes alive. The ideal time for my walk is about 6.30 AM or so. That hasn't been so for past week or so as this recent pattern has taken hold. I hope this will stop before hibernating is combined with "storing fat". :)

One thing I wanted to talk about a bit today is in response to a commenter I had during the night on an older post. He/She said:

Anonymous said...
Hi,just stumbled across your thai blog searching the web for a blog niche myself.I live in Thailand for almost 16 years now and I wish to inform you that this "thailand" we wish to 'escape' to is only to be found within ourselves!Once I was a great fan of india and i had been given the nickname 'the indian'because everything was indian in my home,i cooked indian food, played indian music, read indian philosophy, learned to play the sitar.I went frequently on trips to this fabulous country.One day a close friend of mine asked me when I be going back to india and I answered: "not too soon, i guess.."Why? He replied... And I said: "guess india is everwhere, once you've arrived!"my peace and wisdom be with us all!


I would like to respectfully disagree. Environment matters. Feelings of belonging and a sense of shared values are important for human development. We are not self-contained units who are unaffected by each other. We are social beings. In the same way all mammals hibernate in winter, we need each other. This is limbic survival stuff. While some of us may be less inclined to socialize in an organized manner (such as this INFJ), we still want to know we are surrounded by "the pack" to keep us safe. We need comraderie. We need to feel a sense of being a part of something bigger than ourselves as individuals. Individualistic, "me first" thinking truly leads nowhere and is at odds with the very nature of us.

I would further comment to the writer that India and Thailand do share many common values. The social structures are not substantially different. India is becoming westernized (colonized? - I'll refrain from comment there :) more rapidly than Thailand but the root values that hold the society together are still evident.

However, Anonymous, I do agree with your final comment. May peace and wisdom be with us all. :)

Peace,


~Chani

11 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jen said...

TG, I am with you, sister, yes, peace comes from within, and yes, nature feeds our souls, and we need to find the harmony that works for each of us. And it's a personal journey.

Thailand Gal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leann said...

my place of peace is when I get in my prayer time with the Lord.and I go down by the water and just sit there and read in the bible a while and take my camera along and take pic,s for the post on my blog.every one has there own place.be it a country or mind set or place or just our own heart.we find our place where ever we can.nothing lasts forever.when I was young my home town was small and very inviting.people were kind and caring and everyone viited one another.but as the years went by things changed and didn,t stay the same.it sadened me at times that things were no longer the same.but one day in my prayer time the Lord showed me some thing.he showed me a stagnet pond.and the river close by.the river was moving water and there was life in it.but the stagnet pond was dead and it smelled bad.some times change is good but some times it takes years to see it.some times it shows up right away.one never knows how long before the good shows up when change has come.when I was sick with clinical depression the change was slow in coming but thank God the good came but it took a while.some times change is best for growth some times it is not.only time will tell.GOD BLESS YOU, HOLD YOUR VALUES AND YOUR PLACE OF PEACE AND IF THINGS CHANGE YOU HAVE IT IN YOUR HEART AND NO ONE CAN TAKE IT AWAY.

Ginnie said...

I agree with you that our environment is important and we each choose the one that suits us...however, even though I don't quite understand what your commenter is trying to say... I think he/she means that no matter where you are you take yourself with you...and I know that to be true.

meno said...

Environment is certainly important, but what a lovely thought if we could carry that environment with us all the time.

Anvilcloud said...

There is some truth to the comment. Most people need to learn to bloom where planted because there isn't always a lot of choice. But if you have the chance to actually immerse yourself in the milieu that is best for you, then that's great.

Patricia said...

I must admit I am struck by the comment, "guess india is everwhere, once you've arrived!"

Yes, environment and being around like-hearted others is important, yet there is something about coming to the place where we can find that place and people living within ourselves.

There was a time in my life when I only wanted/needed to be in California, specifically in the Bay Area. That was my place and there I found my people. It was as if I had been swimming alone against the current all my life, yet in SF I could relax and join a school of like-minded, like-hearted creatures who swam where I wanted to go. I was in my element, socially, spiritually, creatively, mentally and physically.

So for six winters I left my dear husband at home in Michigan and migrated west to SF where I would sublet an inexpensive apartment in the Mission for anywhere from 3-6 months of the year. While there, I lived a full and wonderfully creative life that satisfied both my extrovert and introvert natures.

I thought I woud continue to do this until eventually one day I would move to SF and live there for the rest of my life.

But somehow somewhere along the way, I found that I could carry what I had loved about SF with me to Michigan. I didn't need to go there physically any longer; I had finally become what I had hungered to find outside of myself. I was at home wherever I was.

Yes, I still travel, but it's different now. I travel not to find something I am missing but to expand my views and perceptions of the world. Last year that involved a trip to Beirut to stay with a dear family I'd gotten to know here in Michigan before they were unjustly deported to Lebanon. I learned so much by living for ten days with this loving Arab Muslim family. I carry them and the learnings they gave me inside my heart wherever I go.

I have no idea if any of this makes sense to those who might read it, but I had to write because I deeply resonated with what the commenter had said.

Of course I can speak only for myself. We each have our own path to travel and dreams to manifest. Yes, may peace and wisdom be with us all!

Anonymous said...

I certainly disagree with your comment on India being more Westernized than Thailand...regardless of their colonial period. If anything the exact opposite is true.

Sorry! :)

Thailand Gal said...

First comment was deleted because it was spam. :)

~*~*

Jen, I would agree that it comes from within and that is where it finally takes root.

~*~*

Leann, it is so important to have refuge where you can find it, to live that and keep it alive. It's so easy to get sucked into the effluvia of daily life and forget our grounding. :)

~*~*

Ginnie, I agree with the commenter on that also. We always take ourselves ~ but it is very reaffirming when the outside matches the inside. See my response to Patricia.

~*~*

Meno, we can. That is what I am doing with all this Thai stuff. It is such a part of my daily life now that it feels "real" ~ and another benefit is that others seem to enjoy it, too. It's different, soft and gentle ~ it gives them a place to rest, even if it's only for a moment or two.

I try to do that with the blog, too, but fail somewhat because there's only just so much I can write about wai-ing or commenting on learning new ways of doing things. Mostly, I end up comparing. That's probably not really good in the longrun. Dunno. LOL

~*~*

Anvil, I see your point. Everything I own will ultimately be required to get me to Thailand. I'll be selling the car and nearly everything I own.. but it needs to be done.

~*~*

Patricia, I hear you. Completely.. and I do carry Thailand with me everywhere I go. I dedicate a lot of "me" to honoring "it". At the same time, I can't be satisfied with only that. It is such a contrast in value systems, ethical systems and lifestyle. There are times when I feel pummeled by this culture.. and it is everywhere! TV, radio, movies, books, casual meetings with others, the politics, the entertainment ~ it all promotes this individualistic, competitive stuff that really hurts me. It's not just annoying. It *hurts*. My *skin* hurts. So, while I fully understand what you're saying and agree in the best sense, unfortunately, I need major surgery. A bandaid won't fix what ails me. :)

The original commenter made the point that he is in Thailand and admires India. India and Thailand have similar (at least compatible) belief systems and customs. We're at the opposite ends of the continuum here.

Thank you for commenting about it though. I remember reading your blog from the SF trips and they sounded so lovely.. It made me want to get on Light Rail and go there myself. LOL. I always appreciate your perspectives. You have a grounding influence on me. :)

My hands together to you.. (virtual wai)

~Chani

~*~*

Anonymous, I am talking about the villages, not Bangkok. I agree that Bangkok is far too westernized. I have no intention of spending any time there, outside of the airport. :)

~*~*

Peace all.. and thanks for the comments. I do realize it is a holiday weekend. Thank you for taking the time. :)


~Chani

Mama P said...

Intersting ideas here. Thanks.