Saturday, October 07, 2006

Overflowing

THE TRAIN IS PULLING OUT OF LHASA. THE MOUNTAINS AND SKY ARE A SINGULAR MIXTURE OF SUN, CLOUDS AND LIGHT, THE PEAKS PUNCTURING THE SKY. I'M FULL, SO FULL, I'M BURSTING AND SOME OF THIS EMOTION HAS TO FLOW OUT OF ME. LAST GLIMPSE OF POTALA PALACE. GOODBYE BEAUTIFUL LHASA. STILL THE INFINITE, CONVEX SKY.

The last days in Lhasa passed too quickly. I thought I was tired of Tibet & of China, but those days renewed me, deepened my experience of Lhasa, left me overflowing.

I realized that like any complex place, one attempt of Lhasa reveals her outer shell. Persistence is rewarded by the unpeeling of layers and seeing the more genuine, everyday life and energy of the place.

MY OVERFLOWING THANKS TO:

My Singapore-Shanghai pungyao Zann:
You were the perfect company in my last days of Lhasa. Yes, fate it was! Thanks for Samye, all the meals together, our genuine talks and so much laughter. (We shall take our nangma secret to the grave!) The time felt like much more than a few days, and believe me while on the train to Chengdu, looking at the map, was I (and am I still) tempted to change my plans and go to Shanghai! Until we meet again -- in Shanghai / Seoul / Singapore / New York!

My Singapore-Shanghai pungyao CK:
You're brave! To speak to a stranger (at the time me) who looked very mad (at the travel agent following the accident) and ask what's wrong! I'm so glad that you looked past that look on my face and talked to me anyway! Thanks for all we shared -- including your excellent bargaining skills and several heads of garlic! We squeezed in a lot in a little time. See you in Shanghai / Seoul / Singapore / New York (for cosmos, another round of darts and much more!)

My Seoul-Beijing brother / teacher / "Tibetan guide" & UN-BE-LIEV-ABLE friend:
Can I ask you a question? Would you like to smell my socks? How about that? -- the new fashion trend we started, soon to be imitated all over Seoul and New York. When is my next examination, and who will remind me to wash my face before my feet? Did you have your 4-eggs-1-hot-chocolate-1-hot-milk-2-croissants-and-jam-by-the-spoonful breakfast today? Did you have your 5 Masterpieces today? Please eat enough samgyupsal and kimchee jigae for me in the next several months as I will have none. Thanks for handling the drunken horse owner and taking me across the river and shielding me from the wind during our picnics on the walk back to Tingri. Thanks for getting up to give me a hot water bottle when I was shivering under 4 blankets and you had a fever. Thanks for special times with Tibetan families in tents and homes (your friend's) that I will never forget. I will remember your lovely, shining face in our long conversations about faith and life. I will carry our karmic times and your compassion and our endless, abundant laughter with me to Africa, South America, home and the next life. In your travels, may you find a 5-star hotel whenever you need a long toilet. And please remember: you got a lucky break in that last round of darts!

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