Clarity from Chaos

August 28, 2010

Well the past week has been a struggle for me, I guess I’d lost sight of my path, in fact I had completely lost my path. I was looking at those safe alternatives, still conforming to that belief system I had worked so hard to escape.

My mind has been full of chaos, i’ve spent days trying to answer circular questions that just spiral out of control. The truth is that it got so bad that I turned to alcohol to numb it down (anything was better than the thoughts in my head). I went out and sat in a bar, I sat there numbly speaking with strangers who where either as drunk or at least as stoned as I was. I’ve been here many times before, in a foggy numbness, my mind slow and the chaos simply a murmur, a slight reprieve from the constant thundering noise within my head. I sat there listening to my new friends who suddenly seemed to be making sense.

You see clarity can come in many forms, its just something that awakens part of you, it can be so subtile that it can be easy to miss, it can be and event of nature, or maybe the words from a complete stranger, but when it happens you know, the realisation hits you.

So there I was, sat there starring at the world, listening to the words of a complete stranger, no thoughts, no questions, no wants, nothing at all. Just that drunken, glazed, half vacant shell. However through this altered state I started to get some clarity, some understanding, I guess I started to hear what I wanted to her, started to hear myself. I’m realised I was still holding onto to something, still hiding behind some fears. This journey is about letting go, letting go of everything, about believing there is something more.

Well That’s where I was Thursday night. Today I went for a walk in the rain, I took my camera, the streets where flooded and I felt at peace, I took photos while I walked, my pace slow and relaxed.

peace & love

dan


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04/08/2010 @21:45 (in Okay guest house)

(transcribed from my paper journal)
Well things where pretty bad for me today, Im currently writing in my journal, with the intent of placing these thoughts directly into my blog. Today I had such a low, I felt depressed, hopeless and irritable, I felt so bad that I couldn’t interact completely with the children. They where amazing though, their smiles and laughs really helped me get through the day. I let Vichetr know how I was feeling, he was very understanding, (I really didn’t want to let anyone down). He told me he had sent the children home to plant rice with their parents, and I could take time off until Monday. I didn’t realised i had not been sleeping very well, maybe a few hours each night, what I needed was to just get away and reconnect with my self again.

I immediately loaded up the bike and set off on the approximate 50km journey to Phnom Penh. It was a pretty uneventful ride apart from going off road a few times to get past slow moving trucks. PP on the other hand was chaos! The rules of the road in PP initially can be intimidating. I found that it’s sometimes better not to acknowledge the person you are about to cut up (cut in front of, steal their space etc, you get the idea). If you acknowledge them you instantly put yourself at a disadvantage. With your weakness exposed your feeble attempt at dominating any space is lost forever, a torrent of vehicle’s will surge into it in a single exquisite fluid movement, leaving you wondering where you went wrong, and how on earth they got 4 people, 2 gas cylinders and a sewing machine onto one scooter.


Once in PP I checked into a guest house, I stayed at:-

Okay Guest House
Long Nget,
Phnom Penh,
Cambodia
(0)12 300 804

GPS:
N11°33.588
E104°56.049

The guest house is very friendly and has great reviews from lots of travellers. My room cost me $7 with a fan and a TV. I requested a room on the top floor so I would have views over the city, and maybe a wee smoke before bed.

Once I had somewhere to sleep my next goal was to locate food. I didn’t really want to head out into PP, I was tired and it was getting close to 20:00 (I know not late, but remember I had not been sleeping that well) plus I wanted to get up early to pick-up supplies, and decide where on earth I was actually going to go. I made the easy decision to eat in the Okay restaurant. The food was good with a decent choice of options, both local food and western.

While in the restaurant I got chatting to a young guy from Switzerland. He lived in Cambodia and worked on a boat that took tourists to Vietnam. As we chatted it was clear that he was broken hearted, we chatted for just over an hour. During the conversation he mentioned a place called Rabbit island near to the town of Kep. He informed me that if it was seclusion and solitary that I was looking for, then I would find it on place called Rabbit island. As I expressed a keen interest he gave me the directions, he also said that if I took national road 3 then I would pass through the town of Kampot (a coastal town where his ex-girlfriends sister had a guest house and bar). As i was saying good night he kindly asked that if I did go through Kampot, then if I could pass on a message for him. I figured this was as good a reason as any to go there and asked him for the message. With that I retired to my room.


I showered, phoned my friends Ali and Dave in the UK, (just to let them know i was still alive), turned on the TV and laid on my bed to write my journal (which brings us to pretty much where we are now).

(Oh quick note, if your in cambodia then get to know a local who can get you a sim card for your mobile phone. It is so much cheaper to call overseas using a local card. I got a $5 card at the start of the month and still have $2.5 on it. I’ve made a few overseas calls and loads of local ones).

While writing I thought it would be a good idea to listen to a Khmer channel on the TV, just hearing the sounds seems to help me learn. Too my surprise Im finding it hard to locate a channel in Khmer. There are about 20 or so channels in all, and I’ve found about three in Khmer. There’s lots of english and Mandarin but thats about it. The three channels that are in Khmer are saturated with the mindless brain washing adverts for products that just aren’t needed. If you buy this you will be a better person, this will make your life better, look at these celebrates they are better than you, you can try and be like them if you buy this though. I find it atrocious that a country which has been physically destroyed is now in my opinion being socially destroyed as well. How many times has history shown countries and culture destroyed first through war and now through globalisation. Apologies rant is over….


Its probably time for me to sleep,

peace & love dx