Thursday, February 14, 2008

Re-entry....



~*
I caught a bug, coming back. Not complaining though. It is what it is and I'll get over it.

Still, for now, I'm not feeling very well. Virus aside, I'm having a harder time being back than I anticipated and will just ride it out until it becomes "okay" again. Being as truthful as I know how, that makes reliving it a bit painful though. The main thing is that I know for certain now that I belong there.. with those people.. in that setting.. living that kind of life. I believe I hungered for that all my life ~ but didn't know where to find it or even if it really existed.

There's so much to figure out. Being a person of reticent nature anyway, it's hard for me to write about that part. But I do want to tell about some of the things.. how they changed me, how they confirmed what I know is right - things like spending the afternoon cleaning at the temple. There's nothing like sweeping floors and dusting to put things in perspective. Those are the things that remind us who we are supposed to be and what really matters.

There's so much to tell, so much to say and I feel a bit overwhelmed by it. I'm not a storyteller. I'm just an old opinion columnist, accustomed to forming and writing opinions about issues. My personal experiences ultimately end up churning around inside for a while and then become assimilated into the great mass of "stuff" that lives in all of us. Parsing it out, weeding out the irrelevant and the things that matter only to me, I am trying to come up with the things that will be of interest to others.

My time there wasn't all that different than my time here with the exception of the family feeling I experienced daily. And the feeling of being where I belong. That's what stands out. That's what's most significant. The contrasts. Between my life here and my life there. There were things to be done. People had their jobs and their duties. I was on my own in the mornings. Yet I never felt alone.

I had a strong sense of acceptance and inclusion from people who had no obligation to do so. I become a different person there. Light and airy. Happy. Talkative. I hug and laugh. And share. Entirely different than the guarded, cool, aloof person I am here. We ate together, played together, talked together, worked together, hung out together, shared ourselves and our resources, made plans, and all of it was as natural as being alive should be.

I worked on their computers, upgrading some software, networking the computers so they can share the same printer, fixed problems and upgraded the memory in one of them.

And it felt right. It's a skill I was able to share freely and was happy to do it.

We ate around a big table each night, mostly rice and vegetables. (I'm continuing that diet now. Weight is dripping off!) We talked to each other in a mixture of Thai and English but were always understood. While it may sound prosaic, the language of the heart, HeartSpeak, doesn't require a translator. Everyone had something to say.

The balcony was unofficially declared as "mine" because I love spending time out there, sipping tea, reading, watching, absorbing, taking it all in, breath by breath. It was the perch I established, like a bird in a tree, and watched the world from there. That street, that field, that grove of trees, those neighbors, those animals were all the world I needed or wanted. Just being there was a salve on many wounds and I could feel the healing, from the outside in.

People would wander in and out to visit and then go somewhere else. We talked about the serious and the mundane with equal intensity.

I asked if I could stay forever and be their pet farang. I only need to be fed and watered regularly. There was plenty of laughter.

If I'd died on the spot, I would have died happy.

And that's just the beginning.
~*

19 comments:

QT said...

It sounds lovely and perfect. My fervent wish for you is that you can get back there with a quickness. Take care of yourself - there is definitely a bug going around...

Mariposa said...

Wow...I want to be in that balcony too...even for a few minutes! I have known it's something like that there...how I wish I can spare myself some time to get into retreats like that.

:)

liv said...

I can see how you'd hate to be back. You paint it so well, the trip.

Amy Y said...

Can't wait to hear more...
And hope your bug is gone soon!

niobe said...

One of my cousins moved to Thailand about 15 years ago, to a village that I can't remember the name of. He married a Thai woman and they have two children. He's only come back to the US once, but he described Thailand in much the same way you do.

Carla said...

I hope you get over that bug soon. It sounds like you had a wonderful, wonderful time. I hope you can get back there soon. It really sounds like it's where you're happiest.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Just smiling here.

I love to witness such rare contentment, the kind that comes of knowing, finally, exactly who we are and where we belong. And being there.

Big wai to you and your wondrous journey.

jen said...

Chani, you sound SO happy. i mean, of course, not in the present situation but you know where you are going and you know exactly what it means.

Sober Briquette said...

Chani, it's common to feel let down for a while in your situation. Don't feel like you need to apologize for feeling homesick and missing the family you want to be with.

Hold on to the feeling that you had there - the salve on your wounds. You're still tender and healing and you should take it easy on yourself, emotionally, spiritually.

Know also that you are important to many of us here and we always want to offer whatever solace you might find. Don't feel as though pulling away is your only option.

the psycho therapist said...

Apologies for the brevity but this is what lingers:

Gosh that's nice, Chani.




(smiling smiling)

storyteller said...

I hope you get over your virus soon. There's a nasty bug that's been going around, so take good care of yourself ... don't overdo!
Hugs and blessings,

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Feel better, and thank you for these glimpses of your home.

hele said...

I wish you luck with returning there as soon as possible with all my heart.

Julie Pippert said...

Chani, I'm trying to catch up with my blog reading...just wanted to let you know there were 2 or so posts of yours I tried to access but could not. ??

Okay. Now to this...

I read this and just went ahhhhhh.

I loved reading it.

I think all of it is so lovely, and I want you back there in it soon.

But the balcony moment. That had to be THE moment in this post. How lovely they gave you your space, and accepted it as such, accepted YOU that way.

Beautiful.

It makes me want to cry a little.

Janet said...

It really sounds so very lovely and peaceful, Chani. We all need a little balcony, like the one you describe, in our lives.

Ria said...

I always want to be profound and witty and well, I'm not.

Amazing journey you are on and it is good to know where your home is and that it will be there.

Well feelings to you, I am sending.

Carla said...

I was unable to comment on your other post for some reason, but I do hope that you are feeling better soon. Take care of yourself.

slouching mom said...

What an amazing community you've found. How lucky. You WILL get there for good, I know it.

mitzh said...

That sounded so wonderful and I am really happy for you, Chani.