Koh Mak, Thailand
Back from breakfast I met two monks on the road, walking barefoot, talking, unaware unconcerned undiminished by the heat pounding down on our heads. I stopped because I love monks. I love their shaved heads, their robes that crash around them like a waterfall, their wooden beads. I like to think that I may have been a monk in my past life. I stopped, offered them a ride, unrealistic though it may have been to carry two of them on my moped. They declined.
I asked where they were headed and they said they were off to lead a meditation retreat at the resort next to the house I was renting. They were based in Chang Mai and were here only for a few days. I told them my life story as we stood there under the mid-day sun, how I came to this island to gut my life like a fish because it was constipated, full of shit, that I had love in my life but I kept questioning it, afraid to trust it. I asked them if they thought the world was going to the dogs– not that dogs were lesser beings than us, it was just an expression– and whether we should accept it or if we had an obligation to do something. I asked them if God was real and why people chose to cling to religion. I know Buddhists don’t believe in God but I wanted to know their thoughts on the matter.
They said that the only God I needed to worry about was the God that didn’t shut up. The one that was trapped inside my skull, the one I had absolute faith in, the one whose thoughts I never questioned, that same God that led me down these lonely roads. Why don’t you stop thinking, you silly bitch, and just get on with your life. I thought that was quite rude, given that they didn’t know me and I had bothered to pull over to save them from this miserable heat. I realised then we had been having our conversation in Thai and I didn’t understand a word of it. Then I was on my bike, riding past them, waving; I didn’t stop, I never offered them a ride. They waved me onward, smiling.
read Koh Mak: day three