I’m taking a break in writing about my Christmas holiday travels to share a tad about my recent Thailand trip. I wrote this about halfway through my solo visit there. Maybe, someday, I’ll get around to uploading photos from Phuket. But today, you just get a journal entry…
After being in Chengdu for so long, it’s so mystifying to be here, on an island in southern Thailand that boasts beautiful, clean beaches and a sky so blue it hurts.
It’s been nice to be here alone–with a feeling of utter withdrawal. When I sat reading a novel at a coffee shop yesterday, no one I knew could have pinpointed my location on any map.
Last night I took a walk along Karon Beach, reveling in the freedom of having performed a bit of a disappearing act–my first time being truly alone and uncharted since those Puerto Rico vacations. I walked between beautiful bikini-clad women and overweight men in speedos, between splashing children and sculpted torsos. I watched as a lantern was lit and released into the darkening dusk and I stood staring up at it until it was but a dot I had to squint at to see, drifting lazily through the clouds.
I saw the sky turn from brilliant blue to a lighter hue before fading, brilliantly, to pink then purple, then a bluish black that enveloped the sky. I felt dry sand give way to firmer ground as the wet sand and waves massaged my feet. Palm trees rustled, fronds shaking in the constant wind, and–unbidden from the recesses of my mind “On the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful” played on my lips–first as a hum, then a song more substantial, but still quiet enough to be a secret, guarded from all strangers passing close.
I didn’t take a single picture, convinced that stopping to play with exposure and lens speed would unsettle the night. Thus, like a wild and mythical beast, it exists only words on a page, images in my mind, somehow more sacred than it ever would have been if captured.