a kind of alertness


100720131952POSTCARD #01: Chiang Mai: A slight breeze disturbs the wind chimes, tinga-tingaling… ting. An unfinished sequence of musical notes. It diverts my attention from these rememberings, one by one, rushing towards me like a single wave quickly covers the smooth beach sand for a moment then recedes. The wind chimes again: tingaling-ting… ting, a sense of something suspended, isolated, uneasy – butterflies in the tummy – why should it be like this? The fact that I don’t know why it’s like this, causes the uneasy feeling to be there, ‘a riddle, wrapped in an enigma.’ Uncertainty, impermanence, the Ajahn Chah teaching, ‘Not Sure’ [mai nae]; poised on the edge of something – a kind of alertness. I’m going to UK, it’s to do with that; leaving Chiang Mai tonight, only a few hours left. Flight to Bangkok, change planes and I’ll be in London on Sunday morning – 5½ hours in the past. Thinking about Inkland (England, as M calls it), a great flood of memories and the revisiting of these times. I’m not feeling sure about it; Inkland is such a ’proper’ place (compared with Thailand), not sure about being not sure and remembering other times when I was not sure.

Only two weeks in the UK and too many things to do; a sequence of events planned; connecting with trains often delayed, sometimes cancelled, and meeting people in places I don’t know. So many things dependent on so many other things. And so much of it is unresolved until it unfolds, piece by piece and fits together in the right order. A handful of printouts of train tickets and hotel reservations, it’s hard to keep it all in my head. I feel cramped, it’s time to finish off planning for this event – the event is already here, it’s happening now! Time to get ready to go to the airport. Tidy up this placet; the Zen of housekeeping, inner peace, do the ironing…

Hot iron on freshly laundered fabrics, comforting, homely, perfumed smells. It has a soothing effect. Ironing out all these little wrinkles, the silvery nose of the hot iron smoothens them all away, warm to the touch. Place the folded packets of clothing in the suitcase. Peace and flatness. Being mindful of the ‘not sure’ thing, it’s caused by my being not sure about it. As long as the uncertainty is out there somewhere, neither in nor out, it’s uncertain. So I know I have to embrace it, give it a hug, be open to it and allow the uncertainty to enter – there’s nowhere else for it to go. The willingness to let it in, leads to an immediate sense of release, inside and outside. Wind chimes go: tingaling again, joyful sound. Passport, ticket, wallet, I’m on my way. Goodbye house, anjali…

————————-

8 thoughts on “a kind of alertness

  1. “Hot iron on freshly laundered fabrics, comforting, homely, perfumed smells. It has a soothing effect. Ironing out all these little wrinkles, the silvery nose of the hot iron smoothens them all away, warm to the touch”

    this is such a wonderful energy to read this…not sure why, other than I love ironing, it is thinking time..a quiet thinking for me…

    Have a wonderful journey….
    Take care….
    )0(
    ladyblue

    • Thank you, yes a quiet thinking time. Like having a focus on this gentle activity and there’s no need for intrusive thought, everything seems to flow with the iron point, somehow…

    • We are in London now, all the ironed garments flat in the bottom of the case packed in Ch’mai, getting used up. Heading for my cousin’s house in Scotland and the comfort of home again…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s