When I set out on a journey I usually have a big plan.
For example, on my pilgrimages to Clare, I’ve sought great music sessions, hoping to learn specific tunes and forge connection with fellow musicians. When I’m on tour, I have a predetermined performance schedule and I name personal goals for my time on the road.
Needless to say, it was exciting, disconcerting, and liberating to set off for Thailand without specific goals.
In fact, my husband Matt and I did have definite appointments, including two marvelous days of school shows in Ihsarn with the American Embassy in Bangkok; a concert at Asia Pacific International University; and a visit to the kids at the Khong Tuey-located Mercy Centre; and time set aside with the family, friends, and teachers since my first year of college in Suphanburi.
But outside of scheduled activities, I didn’t have a vision about how this trip would fit into my current career track and my life in Boston.
After a brief and incredibly moving visit back to the Kingdom, I still have no big ideas or designs on what I want to “do” with my Thai connection.
Being with dear friends who have known me since I was a teen, reacquainting myself with Thai traditional songs, eating (and this time around, preparing) good Thai food, kicking around my old stomping grounds, getting a chance to think in Thai again, and getting to share all of this with Matt who has only ever heard tales… this made for an unforgettable stay.
And unforgettable is certainly enough for today. No need to write a press release on how I’m forging connections with traditional music and culture of Thailand, Ireland, and America…. For now, my heart is so full of friends and new memories–and the sweetness of wanting to share some of this with friends in other parts of the world–that there’s no more room for big plans.
practicing presence — I like that