Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Next Thing


This morning I walked through the pouring rain to the Barista Café, the best place to get a cup of coffee in the town of Pai. While town is usually quite around 7am, it was especially desolate during this morning’s downpour. Aside from the occasional poncho-covered motorbikers headed to work, I was the only one the streets. Heavy rain may be annoying and get us a bit wet, but it is the reason this area is so green and beautiful

I arrived at the coffee shop and was met by the owner, a Thai guy by the name of Ken. This guy is definitely a character, and I enjoy witnessing the transformation he undergoes each and everyday. In the morning, he is a polite man, dressed casually, yet neatly, with his long black hair in a ponytail. At night, he has an extravagant black studded cowboy hat, hair streaming behind it, wild and wavy, and dressed all hip with a bass guitar strewn across his back. As I drank my coffee and read my book, he asked me to look after the shop for a few minutes while he ran to get some milk. I was more than happy to continue sitting there for him, although I have to admit no one came to the café in his absence.

By the time I had finished, the sun was already shining. By the time I had walked back to my nearby bungalow, the streets were mostly dry. It is amazing how quickly the weather can change here.  Speaking of weather, I have seen online that the American northeast is being by a hurricane. Even here, the locals tell me that the weather patterns have been changing over the past few years. It makes me wonder, how drastic are the changes going to become, and what will the world look like in 50 years?

Work will begin on my next project  soon.  It’s been almost 8 months since I’ve last worked, and the urge to be productive has been steadily growing within me. Creative expression through music and art satisfy some of that urge, and so does studying martial arts. Still, in a way it’s too selfish. I am developing myself but I am not contributing anything to society. For me, there is more satisfaction in doing a job than simply in monetary compensation. Good thing, too, because my Thai visa does not permit me to seek gainful employment.

Instead, I am going to work the land, for free. Thomas is the friend of a Thai businessman who is letting us use one of his many undeveloped properties, a beautiful stretch of land with two streams running through it.  We are going to build some simple structures where we can eat, sleep, and practice. Once completed, I will strive to make my lifestyle somewhat monastic, in the tradition of the Shaolin monks. It looks like several other students of martial arts will be joining Thomas and I in training.

I plan on documenting the entire process, for any one interested. I will post pictures of the area before, during and after the construction of our training areas.  I’ll show you the fallow fields open up and produce life and talk about the work it took. I’ll give you a bit of insight into the ancient methods used to teach kung fu, and of course discuss my experiences with them.

I haven’t posted on my blog in the past two months because it was a travel blog and I wasn’t traveling, anymore. I was simply living here in Pai.  Now I realize that I am still on a journey far from home, and there is still a story to be told. If you want to hear the story, it will be here: AmericanLuke.Blogspot.com