"He said We all will miss you," translated the Medicine Man's Wife.
"And I will really miss you all," I reciprocated back to them in Mandarin.
"I will not miss you." The Medicine Man stated flatly. His wife laughed.
"I miss no one. I visit them in my mind. If I miss them, it only causes trouble."
...and that was my goodbye from the Medicine Man. He asked me to write, and promised to learn how to use Skype, and said we could talk about life and writing and more of Buddha's Method. And I told him I was looking forward to it all.
I'm down to about 5 days until I leave this great island of Taiwan. My last week, as well as the next few days will be filled with goodbyes like this one.
The "20-Somethings" group at the church I attend here in Taichung threw me a surprise KTV party. I knew about the KTV, but I didn't know they planned for it to be a going-away party for me. If you know me well, you know I hate surprises. At the moment where everyone jumps out and yells "SURPRISE!" (this time, Poppers were also involved), my mind races and all at once I make sense of the clues that they were planning this. Simultaneously feeling frustrated about not picking up on the clues, I'm agitated by the fact anyone would put that much effort into something for me. I eventually get over it, though, and appreciate the gesture.
The group went a bit over the top with their gifts and a card that everyone signed. The front was illustrated by my translator, Ring:
That was a week ago, and tonight is the last time I will likely see many of them. The fact of the matter is, I will miss them, whether I tell my mind to do so or not. We say things like "I'll come back to Taiwan" or "You should come visit me in America" but we really don't know for sure. As is normally the case, the wisdom in the Medicine Man's words slowly sets in and I think I'm beginning to understand what he meant. Looking forward to the States, and not knowing when I'll visit the Island again, I'm focusing on the friendships I've formed here and the good times we've shared over the past year. I will miss this place, but I won't let that feeling of loss hinder me in moving forward in what's next.
What's next, you ask? There are a few projects brewing, and I'm excited to release them. For now, I need to pack, and get myself off this Island. 9.05.09...