I'm sitting in the beautiful lobby of my hotel in Chiangmai, Thailand. I'm staying at this magical place called The 3 Sis (www.3sisbedandbreakfast.com). I've already made friends with the staff! Boom (thats how you pronounce it, but I'm sure I'm butchering the spelling... sorry!), one of the front desk folks, is so kind and helpful. He speaks perfect english and is quick to smile. My room is simple and serene. There's a little balcony looking out over the street.
I've gotten a lot of requests for photos... I'm using my new camera mostly, so I don't have tons of pictures available to post (I don't have the means to get the pictures from my camera on to my ipad). On top of that, I can't figure out how to plug in a gallery of pictures here, so you're only going to get a couple of highlights!
Chiangmai is pretty incredible. I just arrived here last night - after a jaunt through one of the markets outside of the main part of the city, where I ate some *ridiculously* amazing food - I retired to my room for an early night.
Today, I wandered around the old city (which I suppose could be called downtown... though that word feels far too metropolitan for how the energy of this place). I meandered aimlessly for a while, without any plan or agenda. Bright, colorful graffiti jumps off the walls every once and a while - tropical plants pop out of gates and fences - fat stray dogs lie lazily on many corners - and you can't go far without finding a little shop filled with handmade crafts.
I am completely in love with this place.
Love. I just said that I am in love with a city. *In* love. Being in love with a city is just not the same as being in love with a person, haha. My mind is wandering to that Sex & The City episode where Carrie talks about dating New York. I don't think I want to date a city, haha. Not exactly sexually satisfying. (Sorry, Dad!)
In less than a week I have already met some truly incredible people with whom I've had heart-opening conversations, laughed a lot, and tried new things. Though with many of these people, I feel as though I have known them for a long time, I am not in love with them in the soul-shaking kind of way that O'Donahue is describing. I love them, certainly. But I think its different. Actually, let me rephrase... I *know* it's different. At least I know its different for me. There is a certain kind of trust and a special corner of my soul that is reserved for the kind of person who opens me in a way that I can't even understand... the kind of person who finds parts of me that I don't even know are there.
6 or 7 years ago, I'm no sure I would've had this same perspective, probably because at that time in my life, I had never experienced the kind of love that O'Donahue is writing about here. But I am fortunate enough to have known big love, and for me, that love was so different than any other kind of love I had ever felt before. I keep using the phrase "big love" but that feels like the best way to describe it.
I would be lying if I said I didn't miss it, the big love. I do - I miss it a lot. I miss caring so deeply for someone, I miss wanting nothing more than to see them smile, or feel the warmth of their skin. I miss being in love. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by how much I miss it. But at the same time, I know that I am in no way ready to feel it again. I'm not ready to be the kind of partner to someone that big love deserves.
Then again... If Pharrell Williams were to come a knockin, I don't think I'd have any problems being ready to rock, hehe. But what Pharrell and I have transcends pretty much everything. So, I suppose thats just a whole different can of worms. :)
So I've decided that, unless inspiration comes in a lightning strike kind of a way, my art projects during this adventure are going to be all along the same vein.
The journal I am using during my trip is a simple moleskin with a blank cardboard cover... or at least it used to be blank. My plan over the next few months is to not only write daily journal entries, but to also add - bit by bit - to the artwork on the cover. So every day, I will draw something new and write a few little words summarizing my day, or my thoughts, or my heart. And then at the end of each week (internet connection willing), I will post a picture on here of the work in progress.
Thanks for reading, folks! <3
P.S. Happy birthday Mom & Aunt Susan!