I love my wife very much. Those with similar feelings understand. I trust there will be some empathy for – there are times some of what she does really challenges … challenges a whole bunch of stuff; mostly emotional, but not exclusively.
In our respective relationships to life, I’m more of the cat and she’s more of the fox.
What the heck does that mean? You ask.
Fox and cat relax under tree. Sound of hounds in distance. Cat runs up tree. Fox proceeds to lecture cat and extrapolate all options, detailing maneuvers of the past, postulating about which moves might be used next and on and on about how happy it will be once it has evaded the present problem.
Things don’t work out so well for the fox.
Later when interviewed by Fox News, the cat made a statement about only knowing one way, it had always worked well and didn’t see any need to try a plethora of new ideas; maybe experiment with one or two when there were no dogs around.
Anyway, Ponra was back to being grumpy before we were done with our week’s aquatic homework assignment. (Expanded explanation in previous post.)
Another difference, between us, is that she is extremely gregarious – impressively outgoing, above and beyond. Me, well, this nebulous ether of words floating around cyberspace is helping, but consider that I have relocated myself to a small village in which no one speaks English.
I’m pretty comfortable in a cave or perched for extended periods out on some limb.
So ….. it wasn’t long before Ponra ran into someone – the daughter-in-law of her oldest brother, I think – who was off on an adventure to visit a different renowned mystic way over there passed the world famous Issan Dinosaur Museum. That’s about 40 kilometers.
This Bpoo told Ponra that our lives where, basically, in the shitter. You know that saying? Among many disconcerting tidbits, it was advised that I would soon be having an accident that would kill me, if we didn’t avail ourselves of easily accessible expertise and supportive psychic intervention.
It is customary to provide a donation for such services – in this case 600B – $20.00 each.
I was once promised by a venerated mystical fellowship, of American origins, that the “… fear of people and of economic insecurity …” would be lifted, abated, removed, dissolved, eradicated and gone; “if …”. The fulfillment of that promise has comfortably accompanied my travels since, somewhere back there. However, it never included any portent of a swelling in the volume of my monetary accounts. They remain anorexic; although my metaphysical prosperity persists in expanding.
- Ah! There’s an opening to paraphrase R. Crumb’s Furry Freak Brothers of ZAP Comics. The absence of economic insecurity will get you through times without money better than money will get you through times of economic insecurity.
As many do, I think it prudent to plan for rainy days, which in this context refers to a small savings set aside for the requisite visa renewing. Well, Ponra knew I had that stash: 2000 baht for a 3000 baht trip. I was ….. keeping my fingers crossed for the other 1000B.
Huh! All that reveals part of my historic relationship to mysticism, doesn’t it?
In that vein, as apposed to in vain, we had a discussion. Basically, it was about leaps of faith. Ponra wanted me to take one, so we could go have a session with Bpoo number two. Just the idea of jumping on the scooter and put-putting 45k to see a person who says I’m going to die in an accident …. I think you catch my drift.
Ah! It was said only I would die; and what the heck, if I did, I wouldn’t need a visa, right?
”Live like there’s no tomorrow!” Only about a million philosophers have suggested that!
I like to have more than one reason to do things. Not necessary; just a preference; something to do with layers and levels. To my delight Bpoo’s house was very near a wonderful Wat. One I don’t expect to ever tire of visiting. It is the one with huge flocks of Peacocks (Live and learn! It is not a flock. It is a muster or ostentation of peacocks. Oh well!) There are incredible wood carvings and an amazing Stupa. (see the D.I. page. You can’t miss the Stupa. I had just started studying stitching, so seeing the Stupa again was stupendous.)
Two on a little scooter is soon not so comfortable. In this case that time space collapsed right after we hit the big road – the smoothly paved road with sugarcane carrying behemoths, whizzing pickups, thundering tour buses in search of fossils, zipping scooters and the occasional narcoleptic cow or little Thai tractor pulling a cart at walking speed. We went though one neat section of highway that was on fire. I wanted to get some pictures, but the wind was not in our favor.
When we stopped for fuel, I decide to check the oil. According to the dip thingy, we didn’t have any. I was surprised the station didn’t have any either. We proceed to the next cluster of buildings where we were told there was a shop that could help us. I spotted one. Ponra said, “Mai!! That is not the one the guy told us to go to!” We finally found that one. It was closed. Back to the first one!
That guy was nice. He changed the oil and tightened up a few bolts: $3.00 0r 150B I liked his shop. What do you think?
The scooter was very relieved to have had the attention. It sounded happier.
Just passed the Dinosaur Museum entrance, we diverted into a market area to practice U-turns while searching for two special candles. The burning of which was an integral part of me not getting killed in my forthcoming accident. $1.25 each or 37B I should have shot the shop. By the time I realized that, it was too late, but I did shoot the cute little barber shop, see?
Once we had all our Tahm-boon supplies we headed to our appointment. Maybe we didn’t have an appointment, not sure. I am sure we did not take the most direct route. Not matter; I like to explore and we did get there, so, we weren’t really lost. Ponra is very comfortable asking for directions and is adept at giving a good quick summary of our mission in exchange.
Bpoo’s house looked very nice – small, humble and fairly new. Then I went inside, where I discovered that it wasn’t a house. It was a meeting space. We were in there for a while talking with other visitors and an older woman. I suspected that was Bpoo, but eventually found out this Bpoo was a he and that was his mother. That’s about when I went outside to stretch my legs and find the bathroom.
I had noticed a rather elaborate alter and wanted to get some shots. There was a cool dragon snake statue, too. I practiced more photo stitching.
It turned out Bpoo had been called away to a funeral. He made it home while I was down in the lower forty looking for flowers. When we did meet, I liked him right off. He had a pleasant presence, an aura of mystique, wrapped in a warm paternal protectiveness, all cemented firmly with an ease that only comes from congruency. (I’ll explain that one, if you want.) Those words are feeble clues, but maybe you can extrapolate in your mind’s eye after looking at his picture.
As we all know, I understand almost nothing about what goes on. I practiced being physically comfortable sitting on the tile floor. My eyes kept being pulled over to that portrait. At one point, Bpoo recommended to Ponra that she get me a few pillows from that stash over there. She dismissed his advice. That exchange snapped my attention back to our shared dimension and I quickly blurted in Thai. Don’t tell him what I don’t want! If he is offering a pillow, I’ll take two.
He smiled a little.
Since I had joined the conversation, I asked why the tile was laid out of whack. He laughed, noting that not many mention that, as Ponra squirmed. Then he said that the workers were all so afraid of him that they worked really fast so they could leave really fast. I laughed. I could feel the bonding.
He talked about a bunch of stuff. I’m sure it was very important to Ponra. At another point, he slowly used English. He assured me that everything would work out and that I would soon be happy. I laughed, again. That time was more of a boisterous eruption. It startled me and everyone else. Again in Thai, I explained that my wife and I differ on the sequence of those dynamics. My points were: Important her everything ok. Then happiness. Me! Happy now! Life is good! Things have been working out well for quite some time; nice to hear the trend is going to continue.
Soon after that, I entertained some confusion, which was later cleared up. Bpoo had offered to symbolically adopt Ponra and me. The small thread that I did grasp then, prompted me to say, lay-oh tahy “up to you”, which was good or the right thing to say. Being adopted officially brought us under his protection. I have long been appreciative of all the help I have ever received. The more the better!
I could go into expanded detail, but it might be time for some of you to check Facebook or go back to work or it might just be time to go outside and play. I don’t want to keep you from your appointed rounds.
Weird how little phrases and words pop up! Does that happen to you? This was from when I was about twelve:
- “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” The US Postal Service Creed, which I memorized one winter while delivering newspapers on days the mail didn’t leave the post office.
Back to Thailand.
The visit was a wondrous experience. Bpoo said he wanted to be my friend. I was adamantly supportive of that idea. I asked if I could take pictures in his sanctuary. I was thinking about the surrounding decorations. He said yes; and added that he had never allowed anyone to photograph him before. (That portrait of him, up there, as a young man, is a drawing.) I was honored and very happy the shots worked. In addition to, the to-go version of his impressive presence being personally treasured, the whole scene helps fill in some possibly thin visualizations in the last post. Remember the mention of balancing gold and silver “umbrellas and trees”? This altar and all the accouterments … well, there was more space, but everything is set up within a similar theme as that of the first Bpoo’s house.
Oh yeah! That outside Gazebo. The center piece is Ganesha, a Deva of Hindu origin and Bpoo’s patron saint, so to speak. The two side statues, I was told, represent Bpoo’s androgynous nature. As you can see, one is predominately feminine and the other somewhat more masculine. I didn’t shoot any profiles of those two icons. They both have big tails like a rooster or some kind of bird. That might be a Garuda influence.
If you open two more screens, it is easy to do a Google or Bing search while, at the same time, keeping an eye on a Twitter feed and still read a bit more; depending of how the minimized windows are configured.
- I upload all my blog images to Pinterest and then Tweet them from there. Feel free to do the same. If you just want to save them to a file so you can share them in your FB timeline – lay-oh tahy khoon krb.
And ……. I forgot to mention the long bumpy dirt road leading to his house.
I made this short video, because I really like the effect of staring into rows of trees while moving. Turned out they are rubber trees. Also, turned out we could see the Stupa in the distance. I asked Ponra to steer while I looked around.
And …… we were invited to return on April 24th for what I was told would be a “cocktail party”. There’s something special about being invited to an upcoming event by someone who has predicted imminent doom.
I didn’t die in the predicted accident. We went. That’s two or three post’s ahead… well, I hope to get to those stories.
“Remember, tomorrow is promised to no one!” Walter Payton is credited with saying that. FYI: He was an NFL running back; consider one of the best by many. He died at the age of 45. (Thank you cyber brain.)
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