Monday, May 28, 2007

Old Siam....

One of the best things about having had eye surgery last month is that I can now read easily. Although a few weeks remain before I'm officially signed off as "cured", the difference is so profound that it's hard to imagine that it can get even better.

I've been catching up on reading. It's not unusual to go through four or five books a week lately.

Yesterday, I was absolutely spellbound by a book called "Four Reigns" by Kukrit Pramoj (the same guy who wrote "Many Lives") which is a long, long historical novel. It covers Thailand's history from the late 1800s through the beginning of World War II. The characters are so well-developed that they seem real. The writing is just exquisite!

Being so captivated by a book that an entire day passes unnoticed is the closest thing to perfection this small mind can imagine.

The fact that it felt familiar was something that caused my mind to wander to all sorts of possibilities.

I know there are serious problems in Thailand right now. The government has promised a new Constitution this coming October. Whether that will occur remains to be seen. Until then, there are some fairly frightening developments taking place.

But there's something that goes far beyond politics that defines my connection to Thailand. I can get very upset about something the government is doing but the thought of not going there doesn't even enter my mind. If I have to wait even longer to go because of government actions, it will increase my feeling of being "in exile", if that's even possible.

There are plenty of theories out there that might explain my connection to that land. Past life. A psychological attraction to social harmony and order. Geographic beauty. (The last one doesn't seem likely since there is plenty of geographic beauty right here.) The truth is that I might never know. I might never know why it touches me so deeply that the idea of not breathing that air again is inconceivable.

It's not even an option.




jen said...

i can imagine, especially after being so captivated by a book about your home about how that makes the pulsing stronger and wilder....come, it whispers...come, it chants...i think i know a bit of what you are describing.

about how it is the ONLY option...

meno said...

Losing yourself for a whole day to another place and time, who wouldn't call that perfection?

Christine said...

Just "hearing" the longing you express for this magical place makes me want to go, too! You'll get back there sometime. I am sure of it.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I understead. All of it, the loss of self in a book, a place, a time.

As you know, I lean toward the past life theory because I have yearnings and feel homesick for places and periods that I have never been in this life, and which have no familial connection.

I believe that such feelings are footprints from our souls, which have experienced all our lives and are not anesthetized as our conscious minds are so that we can focus completely on the present one.

Your post is lovely, Chani, and expresses so well the feeling of being in exile. You will be there again, but for now, I am selfishly thrilled that you are here with us.

crazymumma said...

As it is not an option then the path is there. Its the getting there that can be a challenge.

Hel said...

I think knowing the place that your soul craves is a great gift.

That magic longing pulls us inward yet forward.

QT said...

I agree with others - the fact that you have identified your soul's longing is a success. Now for the getting there...

thailandchani said...

Jen, yes... sometimes it whispers. Sometimes it chants. Sometimes it screams! That's the weird thing. It is as though Thailand wants me as badly as I want it.. yet I'm fairly certain that would be only my imagination. :)


Meno, it is the closest thing to perfection I can imagine on this earth.

I'm easy to please. :)


Christine, I'm sure, too. It's the waiting that's killing me.


Susan, that is my inclination as well. I could tell stories of this.... many... but I'm not sure they're blogworthy. I can remember one day in particular glancing in the mirror over the fireplace in the livingroom and seeing, clearly as anything, an old Thai woman looking back at me.

I think it is that old Thai woman that is happiest when I am doing all of the Thai clothes and jewelry. She reacts to amulets very strongly. Sometimes good. Sometimes not. (She wouldn't be happy today as I sit here in shorts and an oversized t-shirt.. LOL)

The only thing I have told her is that she needs to move on... but she's here. Doggone it! She is here!

But if I talked about that stuff too often, people would just think I'm crazy.

It's that self-censorship thing. :)


CM, that's the challenge. Getting there. I'm ready.. but the circumstances aren't right yet.


Hel, sometimes I feel really stuck here. Even though I know it will work out in the end, I feel like a foreigner hanging out in this foreign place, waiting to go home.



QT, definitely.. and I'm sure there are plenty of people who surround me who wish I'd just go! LOL




heartinsanfrancisco said...

I would love to hear more about her. You are so lucky to have actually glimpsed yourself in a former incarnation.

I have done so in dreams, but not in a waking state, although I am no stranger to deja vu, and sometimes while reading, I feel such an unusually strong connection to the subject matter that it feels as if I am reading my own memories.

These experiences are extremely life-enriching, even though they are also sometimes frustrating.

thailandchani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
slouching mom said...

Chani, I admire your absolute and steadfast commitment to this goal.

With that kind of commitment there's no way you won't get there.

KC said...

You will get there- and it will be so worth the wait!

Pam said...

There are things that we 'know' that are unexplainable. Maybe it's part instinct, we humans have a knack for overriding our instincts, which is a shame, or maybe something that touches the soul. It doesn't matter, just as long as we listen to the call.

From one who has had issues with eyesight, I am so very happy for you.

Bob said...

I love to read, I too have spent all day reading.

Dreams have a way of coming true. Keep the faith!

Cecilieaux said...

Catching up after a few days away ...

... on forgiveness: It's fascinating how we all seem to need some expiatory ritual that includes confessing and apologizing. This is the one thing Catholicism gets right (not enough to outweigh all it gets wrong, though).

The Dan story was revealing to me. I have never heard a woman admit to being wrong or doing wrong to a man, although goodness knows I've witnessed it. It's only recently that I have come to see how selfish some women can be. I always believed in the inner goodness of women, who were lovers, mothers, tender people, nurturers. Of course, I generalize ... all women (or all men) don't fit one moral size.

... 8 things: I hate to be in the situation in which small talk is required. I can't do it to save my life; or, I can and I hate every minute of it. I am much more sentimental than you, but I'm coming to think (especially after a long weekend with a woman) that I am better off not partnered, as all attempts to relate are full of craziness (lots of it mine).

... censorship: I have experienced political and religious censorship and my conclusion is that censors are full of fear, free-speech advocates are open and strong enough to overcome ugliness and error (even their own).

I really, really love your serious, deep posts.

The new look of your blog is great!!!

Oh, and thanks for nuthin' for passing on Daily Confessions ... just wasted an hour there!!!

C. (u l8r)

Julie Pippert said...

I can understand that. And I don't even think to love something and have it be a vital part of you means absolutely accepting it without question, blind allegiance. That's not love, unconditional or otherwise. That's devotion.