img_4903POSTCARD #237: Bangkok: Awake at 3.30am, Jiab had to get the early morning flight to Delhi. Coffee, bagels, and conversation. Cases loaded in the taxi… bye-bye. Lights diminish in the perspective of where the straight road leads. How strangely the moonlight illuminates the garden. I go back into the house, put away her warm coffee cup, her plate with bagel crumbs, and wash them in the kitchen sink, clink-clink. I don’t feel like going back to sleep, wide-awake because there’s no headache. I had the injection yesterday, and all that remains is the pain where the needle went in.

I’m now looking at a no headache period of a month, at least, and when the headache-free time is used up I’ll go back to see the friendly needle man in the neurology department again. In the meantime I feel like running up and down the staircase and doing crazy things. When I sit, sometimes I find I’m searching for a pain in the head that isn’t there. I’m so seldom in this ‘ordinary’ space where the headache is usually situated, I don’t know what it feels like – only the memory of how it was last time I was here. There are no words for this. What is it, sentience?

It feels miraculous, even though science would have it that the nerves are numbed in that area and no longer send erroneous pain signals to the brain. See how a technical explanation can occupy the place where the experience should be – such a lot could be said about this kind of thing. We’re so much in fear of the natural world, we’ve allowed Science to make our lives dull.

Four hours later I get a Skype call from Jiab in the Delhi house. I’m holding my phone screen like a mirror looking at Jiab sitting in the room I was in two weeks ago. What time is it there? 1½ hours earlier… trying to understand these back-to-the-future time zones again and again. The world is seen but the one who sees it, curiously absent, lost in thought somewhere in past or future time. The value of simple things… taken for granted.

The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers [Basho]

Excerpts from an earlier post: Ordinary Miracles, and with thanks to Sue Vincent & her post: Butterflies in the Rain. Gratitude also to sandrasightseer for the Basho quote. The photo of the moon is from our Thai social network


23 thoughts on “sentience

  1. ” See how a technical explanation can occupy the place where the experience should be – such a lot could be said about this kind of thing.”

    Indeed. As words so easily do the same.

  2. To stop taking things for granted, I think, is one of the doorways into the present moment. Your photo of a halo ’round the moon caught my eye… I took several photos of a sun halo when I was in Thailand a few years ago, one of which ended up in my post titled “Where Did They Go?” Your post makes me wonder, is a plain old sun somehow not worthy of my attention, of my gratitude?

    p.s. while perusing my archives in search of that photo, I noticed that your comment on “Where Did They Go?” went unanswered…. my apology for that inconsiderate breach of blog etiquette!

    • Hey John, thought you’d disappeared, thank you for that most gracious note on ‘Where Did They Go‘. Also the point about not taking this for granted is the doorway into the present moment and awareness of the here and now – and natural phenomena, too easily described for what they are. It’s a pretty amazing halo you captured at the end of that post. Good to hear from you again and I hope you’ll stay around for a while…

      • Yes, I guess I did disappear for a few months… nice to be back in the blogosphere. It would be convenient to say that I’ve been too busy to read and post, but in reality, it’s a simple question of prioritizing. I find your posts, and others in the milieu, to be very helpful.

        p.s. several of my favorite blogs I’ve found via your “Blogs I Follow” sidebar. Thanks for the recommendations!

      • Thanks JW, for letting me know you’ve found a few blogs to follow via the blog list I have collected. Good to know you are a member of the community. It’s enough to know that and you don’t have to be a prolific writer, prioritizing is the way to go… one step at a time and so on. Just knowing we’re around is a good feeling and some support can be found that way, I think.
        Best Wishes

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