Saturday, December 11, 2010

China Diaries: Part I

Growing up, I think I had OCD. Wait, I know I had OCD. I spent my life as child, contemplating the issues that faced humanity under the 150 foot Poplar trees. The next chapter of my life, was taking charge.

The Hero's Journey.August 16, 2009

Out of Mao's Shadow. $16.00, would this be enough to keep me occupied for the entire 12 hour plane flight? Granted I would sleep, and talk for a few hours in between. What if they search my bags? Is this a form of contraband in China? Screw it, I threw it I could brush up on Chinese history and maybe impress the tour guides.

I was determined to sit next to Vanessa, and with Trevir on my Left hand side, this was bound to be a hilarious trip.

As the overhead lights dimmed as the plane made a 180* on the tarmac. A feeling came over me. I looked at the screen ahead of me, as I felt the engines revved up. It was scene with my Uncle Jack at my Grandma Murphy's house. Two different things were happening. One in my mind, one in the physical world, and I was completely conscious of both. There were no housing developments, the trees in the backdrop were smaller and you could actually see Mt. Rainier. But I was innocently lost, but curious. Like I was coming to the realization of what it meant to be conscious in the world. No longer were my actions just a response to my surrounding environment, but rather a conscious decision. My mind had been blown and I was looking in the direction across my Grandmother's yard. My Uncle Jack must of picked up on this, because in the next scene, he leaned over and whispered, "Welcome to the Beginning of the Rest of your life." I never Life, up to that point, consisted of who called "Shotgun", lazily eating otter pops in Grandmother's vast field.

What is the purpose of life? Why I am able to comprehend the words in ink before my eyes? Why eyes? Why do I exist in this specific time and this specific place? What does it mean to be a human? How would you describe life to someone that has never lived before? This is the question of my life.

What have we become? What are we becoming? What does it mean to be human? The dual nature keep my mind in abeyance, and will it take a lifetime to discover the answers to these questions? The trip to China, at the last moment, became more of a journey of personal discovery, than an experience in another culture, on behalf of the sudden and startling revelation. Relaxation, no. Tyler time, no. There's a world to experience and questions that need to be answered. Nobody ever helped me out or was looking over my shoulder helping me plan for the trip. What did my family know about China?

I dropped the cantilevered tray table, and before the ink touched the pages of my journal, Trevor was already at it. "Murphy, Murphy" I almost chocked on the Seaweed Soup when he told me that won "Most likely to get get kicked" He'd say, "God damn you Tyler Murphy" with the justification. Holy crap, this was going to be a long trip, compounded by the four hours of sleep the night before, the sleepless night of traveling half way around the world, and the stressful morning that followed after I found out our dog, Lady, had been attacked by a porcupine and was covered in blood, and needles fifteen minutes before I was to the house. The only thing I wanted to do was journal and in between sleeping sessions. What is that much to ask for?

When I arrived at Skagit Valley College that morning, Trevor walked over to our truck and began talking., and he never stopped. For two week he never took a breath. He just. Kept. Talking. I was interested in learning if he spent the night before gathering the last minute essentials. Nope, he was at a friends house where he stayed up to 3am playing video games. I asked him about where his Permethrin process, he forgot it, his netting, forgot. Jesus, I spent the entire night spraying my clothes and sleeping bag down, and double checking everything.

The ceiling was light green. The room felt taller than it was wide. The light from the hallway lightly lit up the room. In my buzzed state of mind.

Trevor talked about what he'd do protect the ladies. The two weeks that I spent with Trevor, I grew to really like him. Something inconceivable two weeks earlier. The tables turned, I came with a lot of baggage and returned with a lighter load, while Trevor returned with a handmade sandals, a pheasants hat, and 11 foot bamboo shoot. Is this symbolic? Maybe, I'd like to think so.

The Chinese, as citizens do not pose a threat to the United States in any form. The Chinese as any other culture, just want to live their lives, raise their children, and be happy."

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