Residing in a cheap, no A/C, no hot water, older room in a up and coming hotel in the off season, in an almost remote setting.....puts a strange twist on your grip of reality. And staying put, more or less shelving the camera because it gets in the way of truth I begin to see life as really exists here in Sri Lanka. Surely, there is a part of me that wants to see and experience new, new, new in an attempt to obscure the reality of my up coming death. On the other hand, I will swim in dangerous surf every morning with no one around to rescue me, today walking by locals saying, "Be careful," while walking away from the beach. Half hoping that now is time for a tsunami wave, or one good shark bite ...because now is just as good any other once you have seen the suffering of others in life. It just doesn't get better when you are an emotional connected person. I don't easy disconnect with people.
Today, my room door had a small knock, and I opened it to friendly young man that works in the hotel to come ask if there is any way for him to get work in USA, because he is oldest and needs to provide for the family, and 10,000 rupees a month doesn't cut it. Plus he is worked to core and has to live on the premises, even though his village is less than 40 minutes away. It reminds me of working at a high end ski lodge when I was 20, knowing I would never be able to afford to stay were I worked, helping to maintain a healthy dose of seething anger. He was not asking for handout, he just wants to be able to work and earn enough. Later in the week, I'm invited to his home, but I have feeling that once I see the fact it still has no roof yet, it will be etched in my mind. I really have a great memory and it's the only thing not really fazed by my brain injury, so I won't forget it.
Behind the smiles here in Sri Lanka, there is like almost everywhere in the globe great division between the haves and have nots. Only here the corruption, double crosses( fooling people to invest in property, fake the documents with a lawyer, just so that they legally take it back) , and overcharges are rampant. So soon many people have put aside Buddhist precepts to get something little or something big.
This afternoon I took prints of photos I took of the women who make limeade with unfiltered tank(man made mini reservoir water). We (my Trishaw driver and I) gave them one to the daughter of a woman who makes limeade, and were suddenly asked( because I don't wear rings) if she could marry me and come to US. Thank the quick tongue work of my driver, saying I am an ex-monk to throw her off. Later when a elder monk stopped us to get Dana for his temple which was fine and it was only 100 rs. it was a welcome change.
A brief glimpse of radiance, happened when I got my haircut on this new year holiday, and I wasn't up charged 10 fold like they normally do, because he was an older barber with morals intact. And when I went to a village family for Kola kanda herbal porridge, when asked how much for two glasses, she said, "Up to you." Just reflect on the setting of a family of 5 in two room house, with not much else but love and smiles to share, reminds me I have to download their photos and take to them before I leave. Which shows the other side of the coin of my existence still not quite ready to throw in the towel.