===Letter to Michael, July 7th, 2008, Ko Phangan, Thailand===
Sucha Sucha Big Small world! I spent the last week on a remote Jungle Island mountain. Yup. Surrounded by white sand and bright green blue water. I met lots of new faces, like the white Dolphins that flanked our longtail boat that took me to the Island, Then there were the birds, too too many to describe, BUT I must report, that there is a bird, no Ordinary bird, who lives near Burma, who's primary song is the opening verse to the happy Niggun! NO JOKE! Ya da da dada dada dada! And I thought I wrote the song...
I shared bungalow with a geko. But not a regular little geko. They called him a Tookay Geko...But he told me his name was Hal. About a foot long with neon blue poka dots. Pretty good roommate except he pooped all over the place and made VERY loud mating calls at about 3 AM. I prefer rommates who like to watch old war movies and drink nana tea.
I met a 5 foot long bright green tree snake and many monkeys Id encounter on my solo walks through the mountain jungle island. In that regard I guess they werent really solo walks at all.
OH I met a HUGE MONITOR LIZARD while walking through a palace completely made of teak wood, no nails, but the king painted over most of the wood so you couldn't even tell it was made of such a precious tree. Kings....
Yeah, the Lizarld just popped out of a canal. He was probably as long as me and looked like a dragon disasuar.
I also met some really nice humans. The monk experience was great. Throughout the whole experience I was reminded of our times and conversation in the Monk Caves in the North (of Israel). He was super old. One of his eyes was completely glazed white and when he spoke I could see the blood pressure building and bulging in his jugular vein as it pushed out of his wrinkly old man neck. He was ancient and wrapped in thick saffron robes. He sat with a straight back and perfect posture for over an hour in the Asian heat. I had to climb a great staircase to meet him. He was standing on the top of the staircase, next to a big golden temple that looked like it had been dripped out of sand. He was sweeping when I arrived. Most people bow to the ground 3 times when they meet a monk. I did not and I thought of all my ancestors who became martyrs for refusing to bow to this or that. I respectfully put my hands together near my hear and greeted him that way.. It was a little funny talking to the munk. You see, he was actually from Burma, and he spoke the Mon language (Mon people have been heavily persecuted by Burmese) sooooo I had not one, but TWO translators! One from Mon to Thai and then Thai to English (and vice versa)! It took five minutes of telephone to say "Hi" and you could imagine how much gets morphed in translation. Actually "Hi" in Thai is "Kin Kow Mai" which litarly translates to "have you had rice yet today?"....Yeah...the monk...the monk strives to sit in the middle, not getting pulled and tugged in eighter direction. No pain no pleasure. He sits alone in a seasonless world void of tears or laughter. When asked about our role here, our purpose, he basically said that we are here to get out of here. At least that how I heard it...He kept talking about this great place you could get too once you had done all your work in this world, where everyone listened to some band called Nirvana? Sounded pretty cool.... Not so much about fixing this broken world...more of a model for how to completely check out of it. Like, if I feel nothing and let everything go and Im attached to nobody and nothing and I nulify all my impulses and desires which make me human....then im out...and Im done...and I dont have to come back no mo.
It sounds like a good fall back plan to me. First though, Plan "A"...,Try try try to stay in the light, to mend what can be fixed, to raise the sparks in ourselves and others, To celebrate and seek out Awe-full experiences, to bask and rol around in our joys and to give breathe and love to our struggles, to connect as deeply and sincerely as possible with our sources and ultimately our source. That'd be my plan "A". But it takes courage to come out from the middle. If Newton is right, everytime you swing one way, theres a tug in the other. Im not convinced. I think non-attachment is a wonderful tool. I keep it strapped tight on my belt, and when things don't go my way or when my guitar gets run over by accident by a pick up truck (true story), So then maybe I pull it out and im not so attached and destroyed because I know its just a thing and it served a great purpose and its moved on. Or maybe I cry because I loved it. Anyways, Im glad the monk exists. Hes a totem, holding down that energetic force that I sometimes feel drawn to call.