astonishment

pigeons3bPOSTCARD #231: New Delhi: Trumpets blare, the sharp impact of it hits immediately, a cloud of birds fly up in a flutter of uncertainty. Trees splash outwards in branches, twigs, leaves, blossom and seed. Astonishment… how could this have happened? Eyes open wider and wider, like a camera aperture opening so far it exceeds structural integrity, implodes, buildings collapse in controlled demolition made to seem like a natural disaster, the ground beneath us opens up in sinkholes. Words explode into fragments of meaning… thus, the un-expect-ed-ness of this unnerving turn of events.

Curtains open on the First Act. Enter, stage right, the President of the Disunited States, Hollywood version of narcissistic Third World dictator, well-dressed gangster with his carefully balanced coiffure and infrastructure of war, catastrophe, greed, hatred and delusion – a victorious returning to power, with paid-for breathless wave of applause. Financial Advisors grab all the wealth stolen by the Bank (who knows, maybe it’s the same family), memories of Geo Dubbya, the fall of the twin towers, the war in Iraq and weapons of mass distraction. Fear, lies and distrust in Government. How can I find stability in all this, how to let go of this dark uncertainty?

When all else fails, the Buddha’s subjective damage-repair comes into play. Rediscover the natural ability to relinquish, give way to, put aside and desist from – difficult perhaps because we are not skilled in the act of surrender. But in these circumstances of adversity we can look for the muscle that’ll release tenacity of grip, jaw clench…. Let it go, watchful too that nothing might be indirectly fanning the flames in the process, such as: I don’t want it to be like this, because wanting it not-to-be-like-this is difficult to disengage from.

Do not hold on to it, let it go… and suddenly I’m not thinking about the “why” of things anymore, just sitting quietly here, watching the in-breath/out-breath. I might want to take immediate action but the wisdom (and effectiveness) of this is to learn how to wait and see. Go against all the urges to have your cake and eat it too. Intelligent control over the energy of thought… and when there’s an opportunity, seek for a place in the middle ground. Find equanimity in the midst of uncertainty, the balance, the midway point. Find a temporary abiding there and cultivate the inward disposition to give, to have compassion for, generosity, kindness, gladness.

I understand how everything fits together today up here on the roof terrace with flowering plants in the sunshine, birdsong and a clear blue sky. I can see the compelling, driven-greed in the world. I can see how to be free of it too. People are caught unknowingly in all kinds of habitual, seek/find instant gratification. Everything, everywhere, consumerism, schooling, television, the media encourages this hunger that doesn’t lead to satisfaction but to an even sharper edge to appetite. These are the ways of the enemy.

“As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron” [H. L. Mencken, The Baltimore Sun, July 26, 1920]

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Photo by Melinda [melindaruck.com]

images of mourning


POSTCARD #227: New Delhi: Seen from the air, mourners gather and take their positions to form the Thai numeral 9. The formal title of the Thai King, Rama IX. Found on our Thai social network page, dated 19 October.

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Source of the Thai song: https://ilovethaisong.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/homage-to-the-buddha-the-buddhists-song/

 

beyond words

625921POSTCARD #212: Bangkok: The next day, after arriving here from the airport by way of taxi driven at startling speeds [link to as the crow flies], the recovery from that and… wake up in the morning. Time to go see the neurologist/ neurosurgeon to have the dreaded needle in the head, for the second time (by some means of bone conduction, you can hear the needle point scraping over the surface of the skull: kritch-krrrritchchch). The needle poised at X marks the spot inscribed in biro pen on my scalp (he tells me), the exact position on the occipital nerve (the nerve tree which has been causing the permanent headache since September last year). Now you will feel a little pressure here, doc says quietly, close to my ear, as if it were a secret. Needle goes in, pain-pain-pain, doc voids the syringe, withdraws needle. Thank you very much (I just want to get out of there), go home, sleep, wake up and the headache is gone!

The relief is beyond words

The headache is gone… hard to believe – really. Wow! it worked. How long will it last? (remembering “Awakenings’ by Oliver Sachs, made into a movie starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams). Well… even if it’s for a short time, I can enjoy life in this headache-free interval; just so good to be able to get around and do things without the billiard ball crashing around inside the skull – only these curious sparkling sharp feelings at the sides of the head. In the centre there’s a kind of blank space where the headache used to be, a soft comfy pillow-like feeling… the first headache-free time for eight months.

So the first thing I discover is there’s all this physical energy… I can go around and do things without the great burden of headache. Rushing around the house in a great burst of enthusiasm, I decide to wash some clothes and like most houses in Asia, the washing machine is outside the house, under an open sheltered area with stretched lines for hanging things out to dry in the fresh air. So I put clothes in the machine, select ‘Quick Wash’ and start the cycle.

Go back inside, forget completely they’re there and start cooking a soup with all kinds of vegetables. It’s a bit late in the day when I remember and go out there again, (it’s the rainy season in Thailand) and the rain started to come on, then very quickly it’s a colossal downpour and I have to hang clothes any-which-way in dry corners; on hooks and the back of chairs in places sheltered from this incredible rain like what I suddenly remember as, both bath taps full on.

Back indoors from time to time to stir the soup, plip plop plip like a frog, barefoot on kitchen floor now wet with in-and-out traffic and scraps of vegetable peelings. The great smell of soup starts to come to me as I’m looking for more places to hang wet clothes. Deafening sound of rain on perspex rooftops, and gusts of rainy wind in through the open door nearly blows out the gas flame. But it doesn’t, and everything seems to be just right as-it-is in this wet, green place.
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Photo: Bangkok Post [link] worshippers at the Erawan shrine despite the rain

remembering

Dazu-Sleeping-BuddhaOLD NOTEBOOKS: In the midst of my contemplation of this Chinese Buddha, along comes an image that becomes a memory; it’s all these objects of reverence and holy things that seem to clutter this central object of focus, the continous chanting by Buddhists from all countries and dressed in different kinds of costumes with bells and accessories, and accouterments… and my own sense of reverence.

When I was a young guy I stayed with an Anglican priest in a Victorian vicarage until I could find my own place. It was my first job, supply teacher in a rough high school in East London, just before Christmas and I hadn’t really thought about it, coming from the far North East, a heritage of strong whisky, fishing boats in the North Sea and gales. Christmas wasn’t meaningful there.

By comparison, everything in London seemed soft and gentle, small wrapped gifts from everyone and I was opening them in my room, when the Church bells suddenly start ringing, it was a collosal din coming from above my room. Did they have bell-pullers? I didn’t see anything to indicate that, and the Father came in dressed in a black cassock, wide-eyed and important and apologised for not telling me about it but it was a cassette tape player and could I come and see – shouting the instructions above the huge noise, and could I please check on these cables reaching up through the ceiling to the huge speakers in the bell tower, carefully placing the cassette player on the small carved clerical table and the wound copper cables stretching dangerously upwards. And I understood I was to watch them for a while to see they didn’t come loose then come downstairs to the service and he’d indicate with a nod when to run up and switch off the cassettte player.

Everyone who came to see the Father just assumed I was a trainee priest and smiling all the time, I felt inspired about being a ‘believer’, but what in? Didn’t seem to matter it was just a sort of space I was occupying at the time; really nice (compared with the storms and savage battle history I’d recently escaped from, best kept quiet about). Aspiring towards the state of being goodhearted, without knowing what exactly I was doing and hadn’t yet discovered what the question was, Looking but not ever finding the opportunity to discuss this kind of thing with the very tall young curate who was always in a hurry; dashing around washing the dishes in this Victorian kitchen with huge taps; abundant generosity with his smiles although kinda narrow in his views.

I happened to show him a leaflet the Hare Krishna guys gave me , dancing in the street with a drum. And the curate said: Oh dear, God on a bad day , and gave it back to me. So I thought about that answer for a long time and it really sounded not bad considering it was not exactly accompanied with any kind of intelligent question. But it did inspire the thought; what might God be like on a good day? So that must have been the question I really wanted to ask this curate, I thought later up in my room, the shape of a large cross that used to hang there where my bed was, and had left the original pattern of the beautiful old Victorian wallpaper in the faded room… it was shortly after that I left for Asia.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle”. [Albert Einstein]

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October 31 and the Aos Sìth

thai-ghostPOSTCARD #161: New Delhi: Ghosts are pretty convincing in Thai culture – not overly dramatic or garish, very realistic and intense. Thais take care to appease these invisible entities so that they will bless them with good fortune (save them from ill-fortune). Every home or building has a dollhouse-sized shrine on its premises, called a Spirit House. The shrine serves as an altar for gifts to appease guardian spirits of the land. There are offerings of fruit, flowers, bowls of rice, beverages and figurines of people and animals. It’s widely known that accidents or bad luck afflict those who fail to acknowledge the rights of the supernatural beings who rightfully dwell on the grounds.

There’s no Halloween in Thailand maybe because the seasonal change is not so clearly defined, no harvest coming to an end in October/November. But spirits are everywhere, in the same way, the ancient Aos Sí (usually spelled Sìth), in Celtic countries would appear, and offerings of food and drink were left outside for them. The souls of the dead were also thought to revisit their old homes at this time, seeking hospitality. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. These Aos Sí, were the supernatural race who were said to live underground, across the western sea, or in an invisible world that coexists with the world of humans. They would be able to cross the boundary between this world and the Otherworld during the Gaelic festival of Samhain celebrated from sunset on 31st October to sunset on 1st November, marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year – halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.

Samhain was observed in Ireland, Scotland the Isle of Man and in other Celtic lands; the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall), and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany, North of France). There is evidence of Samhain since ancient times; the Mound of the Hostages, a Neolithic passage tomb at the Hill of Tara, is aligned with the Samhain sunrise. It is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain.

October 31st was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered for the winter. There were rituals involving special bonfires, deemed to have protective and cleansing powers. It was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated at Samhain, to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Performers were part of the festival, and people going door-to-door in costumed disguise, reciting verses in exchange for food. Divination rituals and games were also a big part of the festival and often involved nuts and apples.

IMG_2379Halloween suits the East very well where animist beliefs and superstitions are a part of everyday life for Thais. My Thai niece M (aged 11 years) sent me pics of her halloween party, there’s one where she’s staring at the camera with an intensity that’s a bit scary and hair all spiked out. Also this pic of a halloween pumpkin lamp carved out of a pineapple, something I’d never seen before.

You hide me in your cloak of Nothingness
Reflect my ghost in your glass of Being
I am nothing, yet appear: transparent dream
Where your eternity briefly trembles [Rumi]

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Upper photo source

transparency

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POSTCARD#101: Bangkok Suwannabhume Airport: Looking out from the interior of this coffee shop into another interior; the glittering glass-paneled B concourse, and through that glass window to what’s out there; blue sky, a concrete horizon and planes taking off. I am contained in a transparent interior, inside a larger interior, contained in a reality construct, the steel and glass of this moment. It’s the same place I was in last time, and the time before that (the ‘Mango Tree’ coffee shop, near gates B1-B6, if you’re ever in this neck of the woods). We started coming here a year ago and Jiab comes when she’s travelling on her own… sends me phone-pics of fruity drinks and ice creams she consumes after the photo is taken. This is my departure lounge; the Delhi flight leaves from this coffee shop, rather than gate C5, which is simply the entrance to the plane. A kind of applied personification in an airport vastness, anonymity and incidental eye contact with a few individuals. I see their birth, their death, their merging in a sea of people all on the way to/from somewhere else… going or coming. We’re all just passing through.

Long columns of us waiting to be X-rayed, instructed and directed by officials guiding us into and out of security portals like water passes through rocks and stones in a continuous flowing stream. No resistance to it… the coldness of regulations; a physical sensation in a body that’s somehow become transparent. I notice how the energy feels rather than how I can ‘be’ negatively energized by it. Everything is so much not what we think it is, there can’t be any assumptions; just letting it take place and being okay about it is enough. Disengage from thinking it should be something other than what it is, and everything that’s currently bothering me about that disappears for a moment – long enough to be able to see it’s possible to let go of all the shoulds and shouldn’ts completely… the peace that’s in that.

Surveillance cameras protrude into the space I’m in and suck out all data, send it to a room containing video screens, dark and gloomy, where security people with bulged-out eyes scan the images of the crowd, zoom-in, zoom-out. I feel I’m being looked at, studied… I’ve just been jostled slightly, pockets rifled. I can’t see them but I know they’re there. This whole thing is a performance, there’s a sudden urge to do a song-and-dance act. Maybe it’s a more serious drama production; Japanese Kuroko stagehands, dressed in black, appear on stage with the actors and rearrange the scene as the play is going on. They’re there for everyone to see but become invisible. The mystery of how we can be unaware of things in plain sight – mesmerized by politicians, illusionists’ sleight-of-hand; everybody acting out the story of their lives without questioning it, improvised dialogue according to the karma of causes and conditions.

Coming near to the end… the last camera, passport stamp, thump! And I’m suddenly through the barrier, blinded by the lights of the glitzy duty-free, gold Rolexes, impossible jewelry and stumbling towards my place in the coffee shop. Waiting for the flight to be called, the great leap up into the sky. A heightened feeling, a quickening, I know all this is happening – mindful alertness, awareness creates an awareness, aware that it is aware…

“The vastness created these human circuitries in order to have an experience of itself out of itself that it couldn’t have without them.” [Suzanne Segal, Collision with the Infinite

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‘… awareness creates an awareness, aware that it is aware’ – reference: Is Awareness Aware Of Itself?

 

enigma of hiccups

image

POSTCARD#98: Bangkok/Chiang Mai flight: M has the hiccups but can’t remember the English word for it and asks me: How you say sa-oog in English Toong-Ting? Thai onomatopoeia describes it well – and just as she’s asking the question, by way of example, the involuntary existential hiccup arrives. She recovers from the small jolt and looks at me with a kind of inner alertness. I tell her it’s a hiccup and she laughs – it’s the name of a character in a cartoon movie [How To Train Your Dragon 2]. I show her how to hold her breath for as long as she can, take a quick in-breath, and then keep on doing that. But no worries, we’ll be landing soon and that’ll divert her attention. The descent is quite bumpy… turbulent hiccups in the outer world. Luggage compartments overhead rattle and creak in the vibration. For a moment there’s an awareness of tremendous velocity, vulnerability, and the mind conjures up some kind of explanation for it. I feel like we’re on a road in the air, bumps caused by an imagined uneven road surface; a highway in the sky… a bridge that spans the distance from Bangkok to Chiang Mai – descending from the heavens now on this huge curved span all the way down to the surface of the planet.

There’s the sound of hydraulics, down go the wheels and the earth rises up to meet us. We are 300 people contained in a structure the size of a building, careering along at 200 mph in a collision course with the Earth. The deep uncertainty of our situation fills my awareness for a moment, then there’s the soft bump and we’re down. Wheels take the weight, first one side then the other, the deep lurch, sink-down/bounce-back as it settles and the engines roar like the dragon in M’s cartoon movie. The end of quite a long journey; Chiang Mai/Hat Yai, via Bangkok and home again for M. It’s just another arrival for me, there’ll be a departure again on 30 October; I’m traveling most of the time. Thirty years on the road, the default link with my own culture is not as important as it was. Thailand is my country of choice now and for the rest of my life. I can be M’s teacher of English until I’m old and grey – one of a minority of West/East migrants assimilating with the host country. The story of how the US came to be… identity is a created thing

Out of the plane and along the corridor, M walking along beside me with her little bag; the totality of her being, head to toe, is inside my field of vision… so small. She seems to be all-right with everything and all the events so far; hiccups are gone and chatting about all kinds of stuff I can’t quite hear. I have to guess what she’s saying and comment with appropriate responses like: really? oh yes, hmmm… and that’s working okay until there’s something that sounds like a question: Toong-Ting, when you were in your mummy’s tummy, before you were borned, you didn’t breathe, right? and I say, Right! confirming this truth. She’s still thinking about holding her breath to stop hiccups. After that there’s a fairly complex observation on the enigma of hiccups and life in general. Sounds interesting but I can’t quite understand it because I missed the first part. We walk on through the long corridors in the arrivals and out to the taxis: really? oh yes, hmmm…

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‘As all waves are in the ocean, so are all things physical and mental in awareness. Hence awareness itself is all-important, not the content.’ [Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That (261)]

storm archetype

DE31_PG1_4-COL_WEA_1924668gPOSTCARD#71: Delhi: It came in the late afternoon, rush hour traffic was at a standstill, tree branches tumbling in the road and all kinds of things blowing around. Later somebody said it was like a whirlwind, sudden chaos for twenty minutes… the world was falling apart. Then suddenly it was over, only the devastation left behind. Earlier in the day it was obvious something was happening but I didn’t know what exactly. There’d been this strange brown coloured sky all through the morning, and I’d considered it but wasn’t paying much attention because I’d arrived in Delhi only the day before. Everything was weird, the whole thing; first day back after an absence of three months and all I could seem to focus on at the time was this incredible heat. Googled the weather later: hot and dry winds, max 46oC today; higher than body temperature, hotter outside than it is inside…

Step out of the air-con room, into the lobby and the heat is like… a thing, a presence, a semi-liquid jello-like substance that fits exactly into every corner of the room. The ceiling fan just stirs it up, slooshes it around, slaps it off the walls. I make my way through the lobby heat to the main room where another air-con is running and into the cool again. Check the phone, and there’s a text message from Jiab saying they expect stormy weather today. That’s when I noticed the sky was this curious brown colour, an apocalyptic feeling. Never seen it like this. Go to the glass doors, take a closer look at it, open the door and step outside. The heat takes my breath away. The sky is filled with brown smoke – later I discovered it was dust, fine sand from all the dry areas surrounding Delhi. I touch the metal parts of the door and ouch! It burns my hand. Disorientated, a few seconds of panic… the heat will dry up all the fluids in my body. Eyes like slits, avoid any sudden intake of breath for fear of it drying up all the moisture in the throat. The planet Mars must be something like this. Back inside, close the door, the cool of the room again.

A couple of hours after that, the storm started. Really immense gusts of wind, tree tops swirling around like I’ve never seen them do before. Windows rattle in their frames, bang, crash. Breaking glass… the wind must have blown in a window! How can that be, what’s happening? Outside there are people running for shelter, and a large tree-branch just separates from the rest of the tree, long strip of bark left behind, tumbles over and crump lands on the roof of a parked car. Crashing noises upstairs and I run up there to see. Open the door to the roof terrace, and peep out through the gap, holding the door as it gusts against my weight. Parts of the thatched roof of our sun shelter are gone…

Sky is full of twigs, leaves and flying debris… black shapes against a brown light, and the strangest thing I’ve ever seen: there are birds everywhere – fluttering in the air, coping with it, a frantic flap of wings, bodies flung upwards suddenly – off to the side in unnatural ways. It’s like the end of the world; the air has become the sea, boats at the mercy of the waves. Pull the door shut, and go back downstairs, lie low until it settles.

IMG_1051“When the sensation that I am in control of my life and must make it happen ends, then life is simply lived and relaxation takes place. There is a sense of ease with whatever is the case and an end to grasping for what might be.” [Richard Sylvester]

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Upper photo source: The Hindu Newspaper. Lower photo: Parts of the sun shelter after the storm. Note: This post was created from notes made on June 1st in Delhi

gridlock

Bkktaxi4POSTCARD#45: Bangkok: The traffic is incredible – beyond credible, the French word incroyable comes to mind. I get in the taxi, tell the driver where I want to go and he sets off in exactly the opposite direction to where I’m going. Disconcerting… it’s like when you ignore the GPS and its voice keeps on telling you to: ‘please take the next U-turn where possible’. But doing a ‘u-ey’ (yooee, Aussie slang for U-turn) is no good when the whole city is one huge U-turn, interconnected with diversions and u-turns within u-turns. Diversion signs posted everywhere; alternative routes because this is the ‘Bangkok Shutdown.’ All roads leading to Thai Government Ministries are blocked by demonstrators… a protest campaign to force the government out of office before the February 2nd elections. A bit scary but no signs of violence here… I feel secure enough. Strange how the Thai population is able to accommodate these dangerous protests and life goes on pretty much as usual.

The taxi is now going along at walking speed through a crowded area. It’s the lunch hour, people rush out from offices and factories to get something to eat from the local traders. But there’s hardly any room, cars are occupying every space and there’s nowhere for pedestrians to walk. They filter through the flow of slow moving vehicles like water trickles through the stones and boulders in a stream. I try to get a good photo of it but it doesn’t make visual sense, everything is too close, I’d like to try making a cut-paper collage and paste pieces of images of traffic in a kind of jigsaw effect. Maybe it’s something I’ll do after this – at the moment I’m in this collage. I’m part of it, looking through the windscreen, past the passenger head-rest in front and seeing in between a building and a pedestrian footbridge overhead. Out there, there’s a small patch of blue sky, maybe 30 miles away and I can see a passenger jet ascending into the air.

I don’t know to what extent the government is really affected by these demonstrations; it’s the ordinary people who have to take the immediate pressure. But I’m a foreigner here and there’s all kinds of stuff I don’t understand. One thing I don’t understand is how everyone is able to keep their cool, no sounds of car horns at all; drivers maintain an outward calm. The Thai othon (khanti patient endurance), a Buddhist control of anger through the cultivation of mind, based on compassion for all living beings. But how does that sit with the fact that authority figures may be taking advantage of this willingness to comply. This putting-up-with-it thing is allowing all the political skullduggery to go on unchecked…

Bangkok celebrates Chinese New Year from 31st January (10% of the Thai population are of Chinese descent); a 15-day holiday period is coming up when people take time off to go around the city and upcountry visiting family members. How will the traffic be, I wonder. How about the Thai capacity to stay calm in difficult circumstances? Will the political leaders go on pushing until it explodes?

There’s a distinct feeling that, for the time being, everyone is just waiting quietly to see what will happen

‘In daily life we experience suffering more often than pleasure. If we are patient, in the sense of taking suffering voluntarily upon ourselves, even if we are not capable of doing this physically, then we will not lose our capacity for judgment. We should remember that if a situation cannot be changed, there is no point in worrying about it. If it can be changed, then there is no need to worry about it either, we should simply go about changing it.’ [The Dalai Lama]

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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…

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