Yesterday was very fun! Word has spread of my imminent departure from Vimutti Monastery, and the lay community’s been telling me how much they’ve appreciated my work and how they want me to come back again someday…it’s all very touching and a reminder of the intimacy and differences between other jobs and this one. Nook and Sopa, two of the Thai regular laypeople, drove me out to Auckland yesterday, and took me out to the Belgian Beer Cafe for lunch (not beer – they serve other stuff besides)…Had a coconut cream and lemongrass mussel pot; very Thai, really…As well as a roasted pork belly stuffed with mushrooms and herbs and a kumara-mash with watercress…Delicious dish. Afterwards, we went for a walk around Cromwell Park, to see the Sakura cherry blossoms in full bloom throughout. We posed for some pictures, and then stopped at a cafe for coffee and biscuits before ascending One Tree Hill for a magnificent view of the city of Auckland. The weather was quite fair, if a bit windy and brisk, but all in all, it was a splendid day. Best of all, Nook and Sopa presented me with a "Vimutti’s #1 Tree-Planter" hat, in honor of my work there, and a roll of Thai silk. I’ll have to decide what I’m going to do with that silk, but nevertheless, very touching. Maybe I can turn it into a piece of garb somehow…
I’ve been getting ahold of as many Buffalonians as I can to organize time to hang out…It’s gonna be hectic, but I’m very excited to be going back to Buffalo, New York, if only for a few days…I do miss all of my friends and having been in contact with most of them through my journeys through Austin and New Zealand, I came to realize just how important they are to me, so it will be great to show my support at the wedding. And eat cake. Delicious cake…
So I’ve been fooling around with internet dating sites. Again. Not that you knew it was an "again." I suspect I harbor some deeply rooted masochistic tendencies, to go dating again. I do, i fact, date, by the way. it’s just extremely infrequent and generally awkward when planned. Naturally, ppl I click with tend not to be gay, and going into a situation with an expectation of finding someone interesting tends to ruin the "flow" I find. But I’m rather tired of osscilating between feeling lonely and craving space and I think I need to open up some more and give it another try, balance the chaos in my life some.
The main problem with internet dating tends to be the distance, I’ve found. On the one hand, I’ve all the space I could ever want, but on the other, suffering arises in wanting to get to know a person better and in person, and once you do meet, the internet just becomes far too impersonal a medium to continue using it. But MY main problem is that, having taken a relationship to the level of "boyfriend" once, I found within months that I grew to feel constrained and trapped by things as simple as a phone call…I had to "break free," even though in hindsight, my now-regular friend was hardly clingy. And I don’t want to go through a breakup again. Those suck.
So there’s my dilemma. Not wanting to inflict further suffering on others, including myself, suspecting that I know what I want out of life: bachelorhood…Except when I don’t. Eh…I didn’t intend on going nearly this far with this post; drama much! So I’m going to end with a curious note instead:
A really, really wierd thing happened yesterday…We have a new girl staying at Vimutti; a girl from the states named Jessica. She’s only a little younger than me and very nice and friendly. She saw me working on a gift for my mother and we started talking about our families…And afterwards, she said to me "Earl, this is going to sound really wierd, and it probably means nothing…" And I said "ok, well, what’s up?" And she says "I was doing loving-kindness meditation and when I got to you, I had a sudden feeling about your mom and that she is going to be okay…I dont know what that means, but…There you go."
I didn’t have goosebumps, but I was pretty close to it. Because I never told Jessica my mother hadand that I was worried for her. Not sure what to make of that; not putting too much stock in that intuition, but it was inspiring enough for me to ensure loving-kindness towards Mom was the theme of my meditation that night!