I got on the ferry when I saw my first monk.
Now, you might be wondering, why Thailand?
Well, there were a few reasons
mostly I wanted to see what I had read in The Way of the Tao and the I Ching
I wanted to see how people lived having been breast fed these truths and legends
it was like I believed in Santa Claus again
and I was looking for every way I could to tug on his beard.
My first tug came with that monk
dressed in the customary maroon and gold of the Thai-monk, shaved head
and smoking a cigarette.
I studied his every inhale and exhale
as though he knew something smoking that cigarette that I didn’t
some secret that has been locked away in this orient
far off in the heart of the jungle
the secrets of life
written in a book in Thai or Sanskrit or some other language that I would learn
so I too could read and know what that monk knew.
I’m sure he never knew how disappointed I was to see him flick his cigarette butt over the
railing and into the sea.
I figured he would have kept the butt somewhere in his palm or robe
or little orange rucksack he carried with him.
That was the second thing to strike me about the monk, his rucksack.
I wondered what could he keep inside?
It wasn’t very big, maybe big enough for a couple books and his pack of cigarettes.
I felt foolish stumbling off the ferry
with the weight of my knapsack, guitar and skimboard, causing me to lose my balance
while the monk, carrying his little bag, walked slowly and evenly past me
cause he carried less baggage.
I caught another boat to Ko Sumet.
getting there after a few hours
paying fifteen dollars for the ferry ride to the island.
I would pay three dollars total coming back a week later.
Amazing how much wisdom a week can bring.