POSTCARD #124: Bangkok: Ah well, life’s like that, we made a last minute booking after M went to Koh Krabi and Jiab and I got a flight to Bangkok. No traffic on Sunday so we were at the house before we knew it. The plan is Jiab goes to the Bangkok office on Monday, leaves for Delhi Tuesday and goes to Kathmandhu in a few days to organize the rebuilding, after the earthquake, using local staff. ‘Bare-foot technicians’, on-the-job training, they get paid quite well, mostly clearing rubble and then re-establishing infrastructural stuff. It could take a long time. For a more up-to-date account of how things are check out garyhorvitz’s blog: Kathmandu Komment, Everything is Everything and more recent posts.
I’ll go back to Ch’Mai and continue with care-taking duties of M until 16th May then back to Delhi. If I stop and think about it, I find I’m starting to take a position against it, locked into the suffering and looking for some kind of punishing way to develop the problem – a grasping reaction, I have the cause but no effect. Let the mind unstick from it, the karma of cause/effect/ flowing like a torrents in a river. Present time contained in the here-and-now of where I am, as if it were contained in a book I’m reading… open at the page where I was, re-enter at the same place and time when I was last here. I am a character in a story about a world seen through clouds of thoughts thinking thoughts embedded in this self I recognise as ‘me’.
How am I to inhabit what remains of this lifetime, feels like I’m at the end of the railway track, can’t go any further, step down from the train and there’s this open view out to sea.
“Lal Shabaz was wandering through the desert with a friend as evening began to fall. The desert was terribly cold, so the two pilgrims began to gather wood for a fire. With their pyre neatly constructed, they realized they had no way of igniting it. Lal Shahbaz’s friend suggested that he transform himself into a great bird and fly down into hell to collect coals for a fire. Lal Shahbaz considered this a wise suggestion and flew away. After many cold hours Lal Shahbaz returned to his friend empty-handed. Puzzled, he asked why he had not returned with fire to keep them warm. Lal Shahbaz replied, “There is no fire in hell. Everyone who goes there brings their own fire, their own pain, from this world.” [William Dalrymple]