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Tiny grains, bloggy clumps

Ranipool, Sikkim - Thursday morning wee hours

Humans struggle.  That's what we do.  Struggle.   It matters a lot what or whom we struggle with, but regardless, there is always another struggle waiting behind it.  Pleasure is only the moment between struggles.  Relaxation is the final exhalation of the previous struggle, preparing to inhale the battle scent of the next.  Perhaps it can be prolonged a bit with a limp smile and an empty mind, observing without thinking.

In the faces and voices of other people, we feel their struggles.  In the dog's bark and the crow's caw, we hear their struggles.  We will not wish them away with magic, nor work them away with labor.  We can only support and comfort them with our gentlest acknowledgement, our quietest recognition.

Today I moved my artyparty from Gangtok to Ranipool.  It is just a few kilometers away, and yet it seems a world of difference.  My struggles today were tiny, and the outcomes were agreeable, my limp moments pleasantly long.  I had some fun musical moments today, and my interactions with people seemed inconsequential yet profound.  My little round brain-state is balancing on some kind of pointy vertex.  Which direction will it roll off?  It doesn't matter.

I am supremely glad that I came to visit Asia, for the last 5 months.  I am so very lucky to be able to do so.  It is starting to sink in to my bones, now, in a very good way.   One of my little things to say, lately, which I'm sure is not original, is this: "If everyone could go around the world one time, we would have world peace".   I started thinking it would be groovy to have some kind of nonprofit foundation that would help (logistically and financially) any person who wants to travel internationally, focusing of course on those whose desire outweighs their opportunity.  I have met a lot of people like that in the last few months, who have greeted me very warmly.  Many times I have hopefully and cheerfully asked "so, have you been to any other countries", to be answered with a shy, softspoken, "No, I want to, but have not been able.   Maybe someday." 

The most common thing asian people ask me is "where are you from?".   Very few try to pre-emptively guess.   When I let on that I am from U.S., their reaction is almost always positive.  In Japan, Viet Nam and Malaysia, very few people brought up any politics or history.  Now that I am in India, more people have asked me if I like Trump.   In general Indian people seem more empowered and interested in politics and social progress than people in the other countries, although Malaysia is in a solid second place.   (I went to an interesting rally in Penang that I will try to post something about).   Japan and Viet Nam are each unique places that I would be foolish to try to analyze, since I can't speak their languages or read their newspapers.  But of course I absorbed some vague impressions, and managed (because it interests me) to discuss a tiny bit of politics and history with a few people in each place.    I don't want to make any silly general statements, have my basic "political engagement" rankings above.  Make of them what you will.

I know, you want pictures.  So many wise words from the weary world traveler, but where are the pictures?  Hold on a sec.  HERE is a picture, from Gangtok.

Ha!  I tricked you!   It is a picture of words!    I take a lot of word-pictures, I guess. I have no idea what the "labor contact system" is, but I'll tell ya what, this sign makes me want to abolish it, WITH MY FIST.      Yep, looks like I've got a new struggle to save me from the pleasure of limpitude...   


  1. I was about to inquire as to your where about's until I remembered...

    Great post S2. Keep on keeping on!


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