thoughts while leaving Cambodia
Phnom Penh Travel Blog› entry 46 of 66 › view all entries
The road back went without a snag. Itâ€™s always easier to retrace your steps than to stamp out new ones. I was listening to random emo on a nano-pod that Izzy had pawned to me. â€śTo pay for hospital fees for one of my boysâ€ť he moaned â€śHe got macheted by some local gangstersâ€ť I didnâ€™t really care what these hooligans were up to. His â€śfriendsâ€ť were kids of Cambodian refugees in the USA who were deported for gang activity they were finding out they werenâ€™t so â€śbadâ€ť back home. Tsk..tsk..kids these daysâ€¦
Some people sit in a room to contemplate and meditate I like to do this while sitting in a vehicle being moved from one place to another. I stared out at the flat green fields and slender beetle nut palms and took stock of my life and it direction. Often times a single sight starts a train of thoughts this time I thought of the life of the common folk of Cambodia. After all the upheaval and social experimentation life for them was no better than it was for centuries. Many people (rural) still spent their days in the fields, the more enterprising ones lay in a hammock by the highway with a few wares spread out. If motorists stopped to buy, great, if not they had only lost a day, which they enjoyed anyway, sleeping and munching on a barbecued rat. Most of these people outside the city seem as happy as larks. Do they even want change in their lifestyle? I was becoming more active in positive social change. I hadnâ€™t joined a monastery or gone political or something but I had been making practical steps toward contribution instead of only benefiting or expending energy in the sole pursuit of gain. How do I bring change? For me the process is slow, as Iâ€™m not a drastic revolutionary. There is a fine line between optimism and naivete, pessimism and discernment. Finding the balance and maintaining it is of great importance to me. I have to redefine my value system. What do I want in life? For sure, I want what everyone else wants to survive. I think the essential needs of the average healthy man are; food and drink, shelter/protection from exposure, sex. To attain these needs in modern society we must needs be educated and work and acquire material wealth, which takes much of our energy and time. Yet these people void of objects to add to their natural image and ignorant of an alternative lead simple carefree (with the essential needs met) lives. So who to work with? Rural classes and ignorant proletariat never appealed to me, Iâ€™m no Communist, itâ€™s the urbanized people who seem unhappy and desperate. I suppose ignorance is bliss the more we learn of our potential, the more dissatisfied we become at not attaining it.
Of course after physical needs are met there are emotional and spiritual wants and desires. I thought of my own human relations, especially with Sai back in Thailand. She was more and more occupying my attention. I was just enjoying my time with her till one day it rained on us. We were walking to a garden in a Buddhist retreat when it started by the time we found shelter under a shop awning it was pouring. Well stuck there for the next forty-five minutes I was faced with a barrage of emotions that continued like the torrential rain on the eaves. â€śBut why do you want to be with me? I donâ€™t think Iâ€™m ready.. Iâ€™ve been hurt recently.. and so onâ€ť I tried my best speak soothingly to her all the while waiting for a break in rain that was coming down in sheets, I felt cornered. â€śLook, letâ€™s just go back.â€ť I finally said. It was still raining so took her hand and led her home. We stood under the gate a soaking mess. I held her and told â€śI know you might be unsure of yourself now but donâ€™t worry itâ€™ll be all right with meâ€ť she seemed quite pleased with that so I kissed her. â€śWe should get dry before we catch cold.â€ť I said warmlyâ€¦.
So coming back to it all, the most desired emotion is love in all its many forms. This can be spiritual as well as the essence of God is love.