Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Dali is the type of place where one can lose himself, what starts of as a one or two day visit ends up being a week, then a month, then often times... a year or much more. As i walked the muddy streets of a small neighboring lakeside village the life of the Chinese farmer seeped simplicity into my somewhat overwhelmed state of mind. Old men sat in door ways smoking strange long water pipes, women wearing the huge straw pyramid like hats walked the streets singing sales pitches about the goods carried on their backs.

Walking back through the many rows of farm fields i found myself once again contemplating the diversities of life. Who is really more happy, the simple man who spends his life planting rice, or the one who bares the weight of the world's complexities on his mind. And what makes them all that different, really just a state of mind, a perspective. As i began to discussed this with a few of the young Dali locals they stopped me and in a very poetic way said "look up at those mountains, they have been here for countless years, watching peacefully as the world changes under them. Your mind could be as at peace if you let go of all this thinking". That is the mindset of the Dali youth, they are here to escape the pressures of a suffocating modern Chinese life.

The next day i rose ready to leave for the south, yet while sitting in an old city wall Court yard drinking coffee i noticed a kungfu master practicing above the gate temple. I walked up to him with the intention of taking a picture, but 3 hours later and a lot of lost translation, i had been given a crash course in the ways of a master. It was INCREDIBLE! And now i find myself once again trying to leave, admits a rapidly growing number of great local friends. Today is the fall party above the large city gate. And afterwards, they want to take me to a secret mountain hot spring... But if i don't go now, what will stop me from saying "tomorrow", every day hence forth.

It is time to go, to leave while not quite ready gives you more reasons to come back. And further more i have to head out before this "simplicity" quenches my fire. Now i head East to the lime stone walls of langsho, i might even get some climbing in then! I miss you guys dearly, and will be back stateside in only 11 days!!! hope to see you then.


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