Technically I don’t need to do this. The program is over, the FEA funds have done their duty; that being said, I feel I haven’t completed mine. The generosity of those donors who support this foundation needs to be repaid with sincerity and to the bitter end. It’s ended, it’s bitter, but that’s okay.
When I say “bitter,” I don’t mean to say that it’s bad. It’s also not entirely good. Bitter in the sense that a good, strong cup of coffee is bitter. There’s stuff going on other than the bitterness, but that’s an undertone of its nature. Bitter sweet and bitter goodbyes, I’ve already had my big cries. It’s good to let it out, to let the water works run.
At first, I didn’t want to be here, plain and simple. This wasn’t what I expected, wanted, nor did I enjoy things. As time progressed, relationships developed, I fell in love with the culture, and I learned. This learning is the crux. Right understanding permits that the following actions can be correct, can reap good results. These results, in this case, are bitter sweet; but, once that’s dropped, it’s something more.
This isn’t profound, like some deep revelation. Heavens above have not opened to reveal a secret truth to alter humanity. It’s this way, it’s always been this way. It all ends and we all have to move on, leaving everything behind. We get to the bottom of the cup of coffee, we say goodbye for the last time, and our trash bags hit the curb every week.
Coming out on the other side of things helps me see how this dance has played out. Yes, it’s always been this way, and a natural part of it is the products of the whole process. Again, it’s a dance. We come together, we do our tango, and part ways. It’s like this with everything. Our consciousness settles upon a thing and it grows, grows, grows, and goes on to contract, to break.
The “All” of this world comes to a close every waking moment, just to begin again. Each beginning is conditioned by a close and each ending is a new opening. From this experience, from this perilous dance here in Thailand, I’ve come to recognize important parts of myself and have developed excellent friendships. I now consider my roommate a brother. I can speak a survivable amount of Thai. Some people I’ve met here will stick with me for the rest of my life, for that I am certain.
If I’m fortunate, I’ll have some time to reflect when death draws near. In that time, I anticipate I’ll look back on this trip as a big step in my journey. Life is a journey, a path, or, more practically speaking, a process. Nearing the end of that particular process, I’ll see how this became my call to action. This has been another step on the path, another step toward my inevitable goal. I will press on, for your sake and my own.
Thank you to everyone who read. Even if it turned out to be nobody, that’s enough, it’s been a blessing to write. If anyone on the trip ever reads this, thank you. At first, I probably felt spite toward you, and I ask forgiveness for my ill-will. Your presence was a blessing and I’ve learned a lot from you. Thank you for your Dharma.
May you all be well, happy, and relentless in making the world a better place than the one that you found.
Take care and all the best,
-Alexander P. Davis
1. Our common room.
2. The sunrise at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai.