POSTCARD #213: Chiang Mai: Mine is the get-out-of-jail-free card… nothing I’d heard about or read about indicated that an injection in the head, the Right Occipital Nerve (don’t ask me how), would give me this wonderful pain-free life again; the absence of headache 24/7 for the last 10 months, the lack of things to think about or things I think I should be thinking about. I don’t have the burden of it. Weightlessness, a state of suspended disbelief, there are no words, emptiness empties itself, gone, no nothing, inability to articulate, indescribable. I’ve heard from others who’ve had this kind of a sudden easing, an opening, and after the fact they’ve said that it’s this or it’s that, but really there are no words for it. If it could be described, it would be no-self, rather than ‘Self’, it would be non-duality… but that state is indescribable.
Then one day I looked out the window and realized they’d changed the flight path, the planes are now arriving rather than departing. Every 5 minutes one flies over. I’m fascinated by the sudden presence of this low-flying high-speed double-decker tourist bus with wings coming in to land; another planeload of passengers from Southern China. Strange, the engine sound comes after it, demanding attention, and there is the plane, flying silently ahead of the sound wave; seen first in one window then in the other. It enters the space I’m in – appears and disappears as if it were flying through the room.
The repetition of it, one plane after another. Seen in slow motion, in time-lapse it appears as if the plane is rushing through between the buildings in a great catastrophe of joy. Out there and in here, things merge together so much it’s difficult to distinguish, no need. Even having to click the Pause button on the Netflix movie I’m watching, until the plane sound flies through the room (because I can’t hear the soundtrack), even that isn’t an inconvenience, the ease is such, these things don’t matter.
Suchness, thusness, Thatāgata. The answer to a question I haven’t even thought of yet. And I wake up from it for a moment. These easy days of lounging around on the sofa, watching the planes go by, are coming to an end. Wasting away the last afternoon instead of getting ready to go… okay, time I wasn’t here. Drag myself into the upright position and go pack my bag, the flight to Bangkok leaves at 14.30. A few hours in transit, then another flight into the darkness and early rains of North India. Placed on the ground, monsoon, pleasantly cool, a man without a headache. Put on the clothes of who I am there, become the person who lives in that location. Pick up the thread, the sequence of time unfolds by itself, events occur in the forward momentum I create by facing the direction I’m in. The identity I have is where I hang my hat…
‘All conditioned Dharmas are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, shadows. Like dew drops, a lightning flash. Contemplate them thus.’ [Diamond Sutra]