Today It Is.

Today It Is.

Yesterday I received news from my soulmate back home in the States that his life was one foot from being over. An invasion of his home. An attack out of unjustified reasoning, as I have never met anyone who dislikes him. The friendliest spirit that radiates pure and honest to all.

Best friend. His home. Unknown shooter. One bullet. 12 inches. Life continues.

I never realized that my eyes had become faded until I read that email yesterday night. As word by word nothing else mattered but what was presently being read aloud in my mind. How much I want to be with him and quit our jobs and travel to every little corner of this beautiful world together and really take advantage of this one precious life we have together, right now. But I can’t, I’m over 8,000 miles from him and time isn’t stopping. Our lives are what they are now. A part. So I emailed him back with every other phrase being ‘I LOVE YOU’ and spilled out true words of his tremendous worth, our miracles of life, and reminders that the moment is where we need to be, always.

So I woke up today after a shaky slim four hours of sleep, and assumed that today I will live consciously in every moment. I need to be with life, because it is even more spontaneous and unpredictable than I am, amazingly enough. So I woke with some quick yoga, deep breathing exercises, and an accompanied lively soundtrack of ODESZA to dance with the new day. With my hot green tea in hand, I ran across the worlds most dangerous intersection with attempted grace to catch the songtaew (Small-bus-Open-Air-Truck-thing) to school. Five minutes later, off we (Teacher Alyssa too!) went!

I took in the scenery for a bit, as we cross over a couple large river banks, I then went into my grounding ritual to pass the 30 minute ride with no need for music, a book, or a cellphone. I simply sit tall, feet planted square on the wood paneled floor, and place my hands in one another, facing up. Although the smog wears thick through my hair in the speeding wind and the noise and commotion of the freeway is unavoidable, I dove deep into mediation this morning. Imagining I was breathing out golden-orange air that surrounded my bodies frame. The glowing air in and out of me changed in brightness depending on whether or not I was breathing in or out. In, bright light. Out, calm light. The glowing air was of me but it reached further away from me, especially straight ahead into a vector I’m assuming was collective consciousness or simply the spirit of life. No, I was not on drugs and no, I am not insane. I just allow my sheer existence and imagination, guided by my breathe and third eye awareness, to take the reigns. Upon opening my eyes up, the world felt clear but my eyes felt relaxed but not tired, admiring even more so the smallest of details. The way a single palm tree tilted over the river, leaving a picture perfect reflection on the water. The sincerity of the smile in the eyes of the woman who collects our songtaew payment. And once we got off, I couldn’t help but notice the micro-community and brothership of what the motorbike taxi workers have created. All looking alike in their red vests and filling the air with lively- morning group conversation. I was noticing more thanks to my best friend, 8,000 miles away.

My morning pineapple tasted juicier than ever as I indulged in a mini-feast of honey-roasted sunflower seeds, a hard boiled egg, and taro-flavored sweet bread. What’s life if you’re starving by 10 AM? A free first class and the office was all mine, so I pointed all the fans at me and took in the sweetness that is early mornings in Thailand. The bell for second period rang and then the tables turned…

As I was walking up the four flights of stairs to class in the more secluded building 8, about a 7 minute walk from my office, I stopped, concerned, mid stairs. “Is that smoke I smell?”, said my attentive mind. I flashbacked to last week where on this same floor I confiscated a lighter, a 7th-grader style plastic pen pipe, and tobacco from some of my youngest students. Sure enough I followed my nose to the same closet the confiscation just recently happened. This closet was filling with smoke, but there was no fire to be seen. I enter the classroom of a Thai teacher who speaks no English to come over in a hurry. We together look for an origin to the smoke, at first with no success. We then decided let’s check the other closet, the one with it’s door coincidentally closed shut. Sure enough we open it up and there it was a legit fire! For some reason and old mattress, trash, balled up homework, and various other things were in this closet and they were now up in flames. I calm down the students down, tell them to stay in class, and in a panic remembered the Thai word for water, yelling “NAM! NAM! NAM!” Some handed me half-empty water bottles and some bolted down the stairs to the bathroom with empty buckets and trash cans in hand. I searched for an extinguisher. There was none. Sure enough no fire alarm system either. The other teacher ran and grabbed the other Thai teachers with classes downstairs. And about 5-6 minutes later, after of us ladies and a few boys tried our best to contain the flames from reaching the electrical wires amid the walls, 4 men who worked maintenance and discipline for the school showed up with two fire extinguishers. Slowly but surely the fire subsided, and class time although ticking away, still had to happen. In my now very smoky and very hot classroom, I taught. Shaken up and reeking of smoke, the first word on the board was “fire”.

And to think if I had been early to class. Soon enough for the smoke smell to not linger into the classroom, just the stairwell. Or if I had just dismissed the out-of-place smell to be of no big deal, like the Thai teachers did. Or if I hadn’t been teaching over in that building, on that floor just then. The fire would have and could have burnt down a wall, as the closet that was on fire was connected to my classroom. The fire could have gotten large enough and remained unnoticed to cause an electrical explosion. Or one of my students could have been burnt, or one or more of us killed.

Life was now playing its joke on me, not just my best friend. How fragile our existence becomes when something out of our reach, but close enough, loses control. All I can say is how thankful I am for my semi-stuffy nose and my pursuit of conscious moments. It saved us a little, and it could have saved us a lot.

Details flooded my mind and awareness set a peaceful fire in my heart as they day rearranged itself in front of me. I spent lunch with some Thai friends, the “Som Tam Lady”(She makes my lunch of papaya salad and sticky rice for me everyday) and her husband who speak zero English, and their friend with a little English who starts pounding whiskey at the ringing in of 12 noon. I more than ever talked to them in her dirt floored and reed-thatched roof of a “restaurant”. Asking if ‘dogs or cats’, how old they were, if they’ve traveled to other countries, to what islands of Thailand to go to, and showed them pictures of my family, dog, and my best friend and I, the one 8,00 miles away. I wanted the most out of these moments, I was not going to get them back.

I then went to 7/11 to pick up a little chocolate snack and gifts for the ones closest to me at school and witnessed two tourists (the first ever white people I’ve seen on this block) making a pit stop for snacks. They looked so deeply in contrast to the environment, as it’s completely Thai besides teacher Alyssa and I, and pretty grunge. She was wearing white jeans, heals, a floral blouse, huge sunglasses, and was trying to smoke a cigarette outside, but a once-quiet stray dog would not stop barking at her. I sensed her panicked energy as she was scared, incredibly uncomfortable, and knew she did not belong. As her husband entered 7/11, flip flops and cargo shorts included, three workers routinely and in synchronicity chimed “Sawat dee ka!”(Hello in thai). He stopped dead in his tracks dumbfounded and gave them the most blank stare. Searched around for a basket, then came close to the counter thinking they were asking for something and awkwardly said “Hello.” Based off the looks of it, they flew into Bangkok this morning, rented a car, and were on their way south to some paradise of an island getaway. It was the stark difference of learning a new language, experiencing a new culture, and living in Thailand (me) and taking only what you want, the scenic photographs, affordable activities, and glowing fresh Thai Winter tan (them). They left me thinking about how we should really live when we want to see the world. They left me feeling more grimy than my filthy Samut Sahkon streets, as they just seemed too willingly ignorant and somewhat greedy. But then again, I have no idea who they really are, other than the fact that they’re tourists and I’m a traveller, so I think.

Back at school again I was powering through my grading and very intently focused with a goal in mind. Now although that goal of a stack of tests was not accomplished and is now left for Monday, I enjoyed grading and organizing and being my teacher self. Even if there were no classes in the afternoon. Now all week I have been on medication for my foot whose circulation has been acting up and I don’t know if the chemicals are really coinciding with my body chemistry, since my toes are still not 100%. I’m a much more holistic and natural health enthusiast, so I knew I needed to try out something new. With the suggestion from my Thai Mom that would be a: 2-hour Thai Massage. So as 4:30 PM came around, me and my smokey clothes and grimy, sweaty skin hopped on the songtaew to the spa. Two hours, drooled on pillows, divine acro-yoga-thai-massage-postures, 54 bone cracks, and two cups of herbal tea later, Yim realized me into the streets of my now home. A fresh new stride came from the feet up and shoulders relaxed sent my heart upward, open and ready to receive. Sure enough I spontaneously ran into the amazing Taylor at the smoothie stand, had an amazing dinner together, and the rest of the night was history, until here. I wanted to post a status about my glorious day of conscious living and near death experiences but I figured it was just too deep for something as surface level as Facebook. So here I am now, 1862 words and counting later, I finally get it. This life is such a miracle because there’s an opportunity for miracles in each waking moment. In being conscious and present you unlock some sort of magical-mystery-everyday-is-Disneyland world that I can certainly get used to living in. Sometimes it’s enlightening, sometimes it’s dirty, sometimes it’s terrifying, sometimes it’s eye-opening, but if you squint just right, it’s going to always be loving and learning and just exactly what it is.


“Each morning we are born again.                                                                                                                         What we do today is what matters most”

-Buddha (The quote I’ve had on my mirror for 2 months that I erased just last week)

“The moment is living,                                                                                                                                                Oh wait, it’s already passed                                                                                                                                        it’s now…now…now.                                                                                                                                                  Catch onto its energy                                                                                                                                                  and dance together                                                                                                                                                    now. Never looking                                                                                                                                                    back, only diving                                                                                                                                                        deeper into what                                                                                                                                                        simply is.”

– Me (The new quote added last week)


Spontaneous Moments Captutred on Camera as of Recently:

DSC_0216 SamutSakhonSmiles-(24 of 70) SamutSakhonSmiles-(39 of 70) SamutSakhonSmiles-(19 of 37) DSC_0718 DSC_0748

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