Saturday, January 31, 2009

Running on ice you can't stop

Many strange things seen today. Deep valleys hiding dragons only to come screaming out when you calmly turn to look. An ancient god stands silently looking on. They sit to smoke under it. I stop to sing with a voice borrowed from its brother. I want to run on rooves. Sprint and leap, only then i think will it be able to be done. I went to live with monks. They taught me, taught me more than just how to move like the bobbing mantis, to flash like green lightning. They taught me the pain, the effort, the benefit. In dark rooms filled with smoke or sitting on velvet, mech battles raging behind room still full of smoke or sitting beer in hand kanye blasting, room still full of smoke. so much time wasted, but so much gained from the wasting of it. you were right. i don't mean to, i don't want to, its what i try hardest to avoid but i keep leaving trails of broken hearts. any advice on how i can stop? things seem to change in an instant. my eyes open to look around. white rabbits of luck sit along my path. temples call out to me as i got past. they take pictures. they look and ask questions, so full of curiosity. i just smile back head lost in clouds as i tear through pages from the past. stories to inspire. driving me on and showing me new faces in the mountains. i've been chasing stories all along and now want more than ever to be working on my own. riding again, pulling myself on to a new start. in mountains of draped velvet i see faces of those who i laughed with before. faces from so many times and places.i'm beginning to understand what i am doing here. where my eyes are supposed to be turned and my feet placed.

"The story tells how Pig leaptdown the mountainside and found a narrow path. After following it for nearly two miles he came across two she-monsters drawing water from a well. How did he know that they both were monsters? Each of them had on her head and extremely unfashionable hair-style held up by bamboo slivers that stood one foot two or three incheshigh." Chinese literature has taught me, beware those with bad haircuts.

I find it more and more diffucult to write and even talk in what i imagine you are refering to as a lucid way after what i can best refer to as my suicidally romantic psychotic break, but its a hell of alot of fun.
i have found the best way to help others for me has been the wandering monk. i don't have much to give but whatever i have i give to help whoever i run across. didn't know what the hell i was doing for a long time. last night i came to realize a travelling monk really is the closest thing. driving on through night, trying my best to reach chengdu for chinese new year. stopped for a bowl of dofu and cabbage soup, desperatly needed to warm me up and give me some energy. i ate only a bowl of noodles that morning, which i got for free as well as a complimentory orange (don't know if its the novelty of a foreigner in backwoods china, which usually just gets extravagent attempts at price hiking, my usually bedraggled appearance when traveling, the kungfu sword on my back, requests for vegetarian food because of being a taoist/buddhist and chinese classic in hand, or, as most people tell me, my claimed good looks, but i get alot of free shit.) i was taught the chinese word for firecracker "huo pa" by a little chinese boy as i looked up at the grey night sky, smoked a spliff (not everything has changed) while waiting for my soup. while reading over my soup i talked to the family of the restaurant about sun wu kong the monkey king. they told me to drive safely as i left. "the next city is 27 kilometers. (people in china have an unbelievable knowledge of local and national travel distances and directions) but be careful it is cold." cold but not that cold, i have come so far already, what is a little further. driving on and suddenly fog, lights come and all is a glare of shining crystals. I pull over. ice, everywhere, on my visor my jacket, in the air. i can only go on, slowly, slowly. stopping, not stopping, leaning, swerving, sliding. i watch the crystals on the grass glide past as i am pulled along the ice coated road beneath my bike. all is dark, and i slowly come to a stop. pulling myself out from under the bike i lift it back up thinking only of getting the light back on. it is dark, and beatiful, and i hate to see it go but i know i still have farther to walk and any trucks will have a hard time stopping too. walking along the side of the road. thinking to myself i have no idea how far 27 kilometers is but i know it is something i will never forget. walking on i see light up ahead. the light and my feet are the only things i can see. i walk towards the light, a small house. lights on and smoke coming from under the door. please. there is too much ice, it is too cold. "come sit by the fire." more people come pooring in filling the dirty concrete floor as we crouch around the fire. dirty faces of farmers. a minority group, the yi i find out. then clean new winter jackets and lighter faces. researchers here to study and yi minority family. i am going to chengdu. i sit there thumbing over my prayer beads for the first time in a while. to warm my thumbs and just as comfort. they remind me of those who last gave me shelter when the heavens turned against me. the fire spits angrily as the cured pork rib is thrown on. as it boils i can only look at the faces, the young and the old are my favorite. looking into the eyes of the old i can only think of all they have seen, what changes they witnesed in their lifetimes. and i think, especially with people such as these, how little their steps have changed since when they were children. they young have a blazing fire in their eyes, where the old have the warm glow of embers. as i lay, cold in bed, in a room full of kindling, staring at all that potential heat which was of no use to me, i did not care. i loved all of it as i lie there reading of the trials sanzang faced as he traveled west. and i could only think that things such as this were not trials in anyway but rather the best parts of my journey. i could only think of myself as a travelling monk. relying on the kindness and generosity of others for the most important things in my travel. and where ever i go i do all i can to help whoever i meet when i can. i can never do much but people in general seem to be happy when i come and sad when i go so i have hope that i am doing some good. living by karma. my face is suburned today from walking my bike down the mountain past the ice line. i spent the morning walking around in the families grazing fields seeing for the first time what lay in teh darkness around me last night. walking down past the first overturned truck i gave the kid my 10 pence piece an english friend from guangzhou had given me. i couldn't show him any kungfu as i would have just fallen on my ass, jumping kicks and ice dont mix. a truck pulls over and offers to drive me and my bike to the next city just as i pass the ice line, no use now. i still have some good karma left over from last night, but not that much. a wandering monk, doing my best to live off of good will. i am trying to change to a classic chinese kungfu hero, maybe once i get my swords.

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