Fly to: Yangon, Burma
Internal Transfer: 4 flights to Thandwe, Heho, Mandalay & Bagan
Visa required: Yes if British
Currency:Myanmar Kyat (MMK)
Time Zone:+6hrs30mins GMT
Day 1, 06/02/11: Burma - The Golden Shadow
The minute I'd settled on the train to Paddington, my attention was already drawn to phone conversations. A snippet here, an argument there; a sweet nothing whispered under an embarrassed, shameful breath.
As I sat listening I couldn't help but track my thoughts, plot my bodily sensations as they raced back and forth - for in the quiet of my own space I feel a stranger, feel as if I don't belong in this world, in this place, I don't share such feelings, such desires...
Sat upon this train I made contact with my inner child, a little girl who had felt confused, lost...only now she's older, wiser some may say, now she is filled with curiosity, a sense of intrigue; oh yes the desire is there, only this is a desire to know, a desire to learn, to explore; to step out on a journey not yet travelled, a journey without a plot, without boundaries.
At the airport coffee bar I sat reading 'Feeding your Demons' by Tsultrim Allione, quietly watching the world go by, content to be in my own company - oh what a difference to a few years ago when my mind would have been preoccupied, replaying conversations from the past & pre-living events from my future. A world so planned, I left little, if any room for spontaneity or to hear the sweet voice of synchronicity.
A South African lady appeared at my side; living now in Cape Town she spoke of her early years growing up in Zimbabwe. As she spoke I couldn't help but recall a book I once read titled, 'Out of the Darkness' a book which spoke of life in Zimbabwe, of Rhodesian ridgebacks and fur coats.
The lady had been in the UK on a nursing course. After years of being a music teacher and dealing with a family illness she had decided to heed the call of nursing; unfortunately, after only a few days she had soon realised that this was most definitely not what she wanted to do.
As she spoke I recalled a creative therapy course I once did in which the lady said, 'seems like we spend a lifetime doing what don't want to do in an attempt to work out what it is we do want'. A smile broke out on my face; for so long I'd deceived myself and created so many obstacles to my own development, judged and looked on other people with a mis-belief that, 'oh look at them, they're so sorted' only to now realise that belief couldn't be further from the truth.
From what I can fathom, 'normal' is to suffer, to experience doubt and inner conflict & for me to realise that was a huge step because it also meant acknowledging that 'I am not alone'; that people share far more similarities with regards to internal processes than perhaps differences - yet still it's unspoken.
As I inhaled I found myself drinking in, with a full-bodied richness each of her words. After talking about healing practices and sharing some of our learning we bid farewell, her final words resonated, 'I wonder where this journey will lead?'
'Indeed' I thought 'indeed...'