Just reaching the beach that day I saw how the sky was coming to meet the sea and earth through the kiss of hovering clouds. There was pressure and uneasiness rumbling about the atmosphere, yet the tourists still stood, and seemed so small in the coming wake of the elements.
2. The God of Fanta
There is no missing the god of Fanta. You can see his footsteps all throughout Thailand, his altars littered with half empty bottles of sugar and fizz, waiting to satiate the spirit at its desire. Even along the beaches and in the alleys not just one altar suffices. Several structures for housing this great being are necessary. For he beckons to your every will if you just please him, just please him. Ah, I found that we had a lot in common, I and the great god of Fanta.
3. Kiss the Shore
We found ourselves starfish fishing with our bare hands in the open sea of the beach, as the clouds bunched up angrily and the water remained calm and silent. Tandem to the many fishing boats out there, we felt that we were really connecting with what that beach was made for – perhaps for the first time in Thailand, we were one with the nature around us. And we felt whole. Even with the bitter sky.
Just a few pieces, she said. That is all you need for the sticking. Wash, wash, wash the purple grains well. Then let them sit. They must sit. Before adding the fresh coconut milk (you just strained it between your fingers, remember?), before adding it, they must sit. And rest. And glue together. Covered. And so she spoke, of Thai cooking, and I wondered about this teacher who seemed to be able to tell by pulse if a grain of rice was still as yet, unsoftened.
The moon and the rocks and the seas, they last. They remind us to think of things that came before, and they echo the truth that there is nothing new under the sun. Only new experiences. Here in Khiri Khan, I was reminded of both the infiniteness of time, and the finiteness of self. And I met God there, in that space between time and self. And it was like a memory from when I was young.
I learned something about myself in Thailand. Something dark and different, something startling, something worthy. Feeling the beat of creation under the Thai elements, and the nitty-gritty of common living in the cement and paint of the soiled city, something broke. And it was good. The elements and the paint served as my caretakers and, in the flood of human overflow, we rode out alive and renewed.
These photos are a piece of that journey.