on goodbye

it's rare to be the one
getting said goodbye to
being on this side of the river
i know now why my grandma was crying
when she dropped me off at the bus station
when i left for china
for 3 months
i hope she's not sad
that i haven't returned yet
but once i return
perhaps after another 3 months
i will leave again
leaving her on the other side of the river again
where i am standing now
having waved my friend away
a motorbike into the distance
the sound fading away, the sight already gone
but the heart ties still there
how strong, the heart ties?

i don't like being on this side of the river
waving goodbye
and now i feel guilty for usually being the one on the other side of the river
jolly waving farewell
looking forward into the rising sun
whilst the moon sets on the back side of the river
where i stand now
still waving
pieces of my heart riding away with the motorcycle

grandma, mother, father, sister, friends who are family
i want to say "come join me on this side of the river"
and "let us never part"
and "why do i always say goodbye"

today i know
yet again
that i do not know

but there is a certain wind
and there is a certain earth
and the chinese word for peace
is the same word for

(let us live the questions
let us not be afraid to walk into the fiery sun
be it rising or setting
and to grasp the tails of the comets
and ride them as far as they will take us
let us bravely stand at the edges of volcanoes
and stare deep into an endless abyss
great cavernous mysterious eyes that stare back
let us be
waves on this immense ocean
flowing steady wild rhythmic uncontrollable
gravitationally pulled to solid earth magnetism
and drawn by mystical moon off somewhere we can't quite always see)


china photos from jesse

master photographer jesse warren does it yet again with multiple flash extended exposure photography for jiling's last night in shenzhen, china... well, almost a month ago now. thanks shenzhen, china once again for 3 months of new friends, deep challenges, and infinite lessons that i will keep learning the rest of my life

(night picnic at lianhuashan park)


on chiang mai, thailand

i feel so very full right now. have been receiving many emails asking "how is thailand?" and such with much love in those words and your thoughts and i don't quite know what to say because it would be such a long email with so many words and much typing and typing is not so good for my wrists. i try to relax them off. i sleep with crystals. am staying with guy, muay, and faa. muay is my thai massage teacher. they are all beautiful amazing human beings and i am honored to be now part of this family also. really, makes my heart sing, and makes it sore with love, and joy, and the pain also of knowing one day soon enough leaving and not knowing when i return. this place reminds me of northampton, ma. and brattleboro, vt. and the feel of gila, nm. very community feel with healing light intentions and strong intentions and beautiful people gathered together somehow magic perfect (as always yes?) in this place, this time, these feelings/ energies.
the magic is shaking a lot up inside of me and it is wonderful and challenging and i look to august for my yearly (i guess, now it's yearly) Fast. will investigate mountain wilderness areas around thailand to find the perfect place for another uninterrupted four day fast. (feasting on air, water, mountains, sunshine, and pure spirit essence) the tissues hold the issues said lucy. and i can see how everything builds up and builds up to build the present now... this wouldn't be so rich, if this wasn't so challenging. i really have to pay attention to body mechanics, otherwise i can't fall asleep for painful wrists. body mechanics are right, and everything flowers like rivers and waterfalls and gentle streams bending through mountains. bodies like mountains each unique and beautiful in their own way. so far, only practiced on a handful of bodies/ people/ spirits... guy, muay, yui, faa, craig. fascinating to palpate skin and feel the electrical currents beneath skin, the bones, the muscles, and best of all, that which science has not named but age old thai tradition calls "sen lines." chinese, we call them meridians. i don't know all the other names for the body's energy lines, but all this is fascinating is fascinating and i feel so happy to literally touch this. and be touching others, helping with pain, and learning so much that it (quite literally) hurts. being careful of body mechanics, i bring new awareness into every single movement. thai massage is like contact improv dance. this new awareness permeates my every movement, how i shift weight with each step, how i pedal down the busy roads listening to and feeling the flexing and contracting of my muscles, what the relation between my foot and the pedal is and how the energy rises up my legs and that relation with my spine and then (somehow this is almost always most important for if not careful this always hurts the most) relation of wrist with handlebars and arms with spine and wrist also and wrist and hands and head and neck and wrist and wrist and wrist. i massage my own scar tissue during calm moments of non thinking, during busy moments of stress (i am wedged between a big stinky bus and a tuk tuk on a busy road... and i am supposed to be on the other side) biking thru the rain coming home at night. pure exhilaration. full moon dance night with the new additional couchsurfing family member of craig (feels so nice to say family. feel family. family family family) (taiwan family. usa family. world family). this love makes me happy. but this love also makes me sad and miss people. but i have family scattered all over the globe. most concentrated in taiwan and usa but... all over the globe. what a gift. what pain in the heart to feel such love and not always be able to physically touch (but there is energy and i KNOW the sen- jiling philosophy at least- extends all over as my breath flows into yours and into the trees and stones and all else) i felt this morning with the tree across from where i do morning stretching, i felt our breath exchange. i could feel tree's strength and age and enduring patience, grandiose beauty. ancient powerful beings, really. some really old big sacred bodhi trees with colorful sticks with prayer messages written on them supporting the old giants (being supported, rather?), and golden cloth tied around their bellies. some with all manner of rainbow cloths tied around and around. the wats/ temples here and magnificent. seems like there is one around every corner and all i can do is keep repeating "only good spirits please" and "meegwetch, namaste, kop khun kha, thank you thank you thank you" because i feel so deeply grateful to be here, and all the beauty and all the challenges feel so rich, and perfect. this journey feels really really right. and this feels like a good place to stop writing for now, and watch today's storm come slowly rolling in. love and gratitude to you, my pun pun, my friend!


suay thai

sawat dee kha! hello
bangkok thailand for four days
tommorow chiang mai train ride all day 
kap khun kha! thank you
suay suay suay= beautiful beautiful beautiful


Love in China

i started composing this list last night, as i reminsced over the long-short three months i've been here in southern china... i did not have time to finish or edit this list today (my last day here. wildly busy, and just wildly surreal as always). so here's an unfinished raw list of (and i hope you enjoy)
china moments i want to remember
the feeling of watching a line of little kids running into their mama's arms
dancing at night to the beat of at least ten different musics, hundreds of people moving as one
fireflies on a night hike up to the top of a hill, and seeing the big dipper again, reorienting to my planet, and north star
spotting the first few land-lubber fireflies hunkered in bushes near the river
helping kendal find her voice and shout loudly into the tunnel
doing the same but differently with frederik that long night walk night
free flow echo-free singing into the twilight magic on top of the hilll in our park
our students crying as they parted ways with the local students
long nights extending into mornings with kendal, talking about all the many colors of the wind, and life's rainbows and shadows
every single painful goodbye is a heartfelt love song
kitchen boy giving me the small fresh ginger buds he'd just carefully nipped off all the ginger, "bet you've never tried this like this before"
qizi's mama's breakfast morning "ba bao zhou" (eight treasures porridge) reminding me so strongly of my own mama
qizi's dad giving me coconut milk, travel stories, and always a huge smile filled with heart
connection with the yangshuo third generation herbalist, wang fa-yuan
connection with the shenzen chinese medicine doctor who gave me free massages, many stories, and treated kendal's cough with herbs
that night hanging out on the rock in the middle of the frog pond wondering about stars, constellations, meaning of life, and plausability of god with glenn, kendal, wouter, camille and watching the magic of fire on water
my first run-in with rebecca, glenn, wouter, and every single time trying to verbalize in improving chinese and deproving english something unverbalizeable
going to shanghai and realizing what a gift family really is
noticing the earth and sky in kendal's eyes
noticing the sun freckles in the greenish lake of frederik's eyes
watching sliena and jane (non-swimmers) swimming (first time) under the second waterfall
immersed skin to stone above the xin'an waterfall, watching clouds rush by
speaking with the three generations of calm earthy farmers on their lonely contented hilltop farm above the small village... and understanding where and how i want to be
hugging simon goodbye, and feeling his tears
first seeing dandelion, stellaria medea, artemesia, plantain, and all the many other old plant friends here also
walking downhill, feeling wind, knowing rain, inhaling green, and finding knowingness and rightness
yangshuo bar night, "talking" via notes with chao-ren/superman above the din of live music and many voices
campfire night with our xin'an students: connection over old songs, many stories, and never ever growing up
singing songs in chinese and english with our shenzhen beach students over the fire, to burnt bananas and flickering charcoal
placidly floating in the inner tube down the xin'an river with kendal and sliena, laughing, silently intaking, and dodging whitewater rapids
old man above the farm looking into my eyes, "i am glad you see this"
leading yoga on the beach with cristina, marina, kendal and feeling powerfully rooted to both earth and sky
deep dreams fast asleep under the artemesia at my xin'an village sit-spot
at my xin'an sit spot: grasshopper landing on my hand. butterfly landing on my head
night hiking through bamboo forest: firefly landing on my hands on my head, illuminating my world
folk dancing with frederik in the park to amelie music echoing off tall building walls
free form dancing on the rooftop
giving thanks at dawn and dusk on the roof above our indier office
the little purple-back leaf plant popping out through the small crack in the roof
headstands in the sandy beach with head and butt pointed towards oncoming waves
trying to teach jane how to swim in the ocean
fingers and eyes and eyes and fingers pointing games with dingo
qq from first floor to second floor with kendal
rubbing xiao o's head for good luck
whirlwind three days roadtrip to old home in zhao qing with wayne and family
touching the ancient stone buddhas in hangzhou
seeing all my green plant friends (aka weeds) growing amidst ancient ruins
finding the tibetan art exhibit
getting "lost"... then finding my way again
learning to find what i need in this huge city
eating one sweet bao zi after another, and chive jiao zi also
making green bean soup
thunder and lightning boom banging and making all the car alarms go off
street food
my one week fast
dalun printmaking village and dafun oil painting village
skyping with mama, my sister, uncle, bill, etc
connections with alex amies and daniel here in china (old buddies)
pancake party on santi's roof and feeling wind and watching the city wilderness of blinking land stars with cheeks full of nutella
dimsum with wayne's family in guangzhou
hospitality of villagers and family