I guess sometimes it is the contracts that helps us see. The light that shows us the dark, and the hot that helps us feel the cold. The feel of the element earth is so different here. I Hawaii everything is all raw and young and speaks of the Hadean, rocks and raw power. Here the rocks are older, formed with a different history and being on the equator the plants and animals rule here. There is very little seasonal variation and the days and nights are basically equal all year. The environment has a timeless patient feel to it unlike the unruly Hawaiian islands.
It took time to sink into this new environment. I felt the change right away but more the difference than really feeling what is here. I am starting to feel the earth under me again though. I tried at first by finding the “local” vegetation area in the botanical garden near my condo. that got me closer but not there. Going into the unmanicured juggle certainly helped!
Rainforest path in the garden
I jumped off a boat there and went up a not-trail and took this photo waiting for the boat to come back.
I have also been making an effort to learn about the different cultures that contribute to the mix here. Slowly I am starting to connect with my new home. I still don’t have that deep root here but things take time.
I was talking about this with my OBOD mentor and he brought up the celtic idea that the god and goddess are the same but different in different locations and are shaped by the landscape. Maybe that is why I tend to be drawn to the local indigenous cultures of wherever I live. They reflect the local landscape. While this area has a deep rich and long history, Singapore itself is very young. Here there are strict lines between groups defined by both race and religion each shaped by being brought here. The Malay are the indigenous peoples here, and they are almost all Muslim.
I have been thinking about my home altar recently. Because there is such a presence of plants here, I have decided to combine it with my indoor garden. I will burn joss sticks (incense that isn’t very smelly since it is the smoke that takes the prayers), and will keep it full of bits and bobbles I pick up on my travels in the region. This transition has been rough but slowly I am getting my feet under me. Again it took the contrast to really see what a toll my unhappiness in my job was having on me. I can see it now though looking at things as simply as, the shit job I did on a bookbinding, the photos I took, and the photos I didn’t take, and the things I didn’t write. So even though this move was a shock to my system, I think it is a good shock. I hope to travel extensively in SE Asia while I am here and am enjoying the learning process.