Dear Mipham...Its yet another glorious sun soaked day here in Thimphu. I wonder how the Dutch summer is turning out this year...I remember the summer of 2007 was barely summer and before we knew it, fall had come and all the trees shed their leaves (they call them deciduous trees!)
I went to lunch with Angay Deki (your grandmother) at Ashey Yangzome's house today. She's got a garden that looks prettier each time i visit it! There are a lot of flowers and plants and arty-looking-brushes in her garden. She's doing some good gardening. I bet you'd love to hang about the bush and look for insects...there are a lot of insects this time of the year...The other day i had a stick-insect on my office table (i wonder what business he wanted to conduct). Looked just like a stick..i took him out the window and chucked him out, gingerly!
For lunch we had rice and vegetables. Its so hot you can't really eat much but having Angay Deki there was nice. She thinks i've defiled my sacred-human-body with all the tattoos i've got! She tells me all the outer philosophies i've calligraph-ed on my body should flow through the heart, the mind and in actions. In a perfect world, i'd love to be able to do that! But that's another story.
I agree with her on the altruistic approach but i defended my right to express myself the way i saw fit (in this case, the tattoos). Somewhere we made peace and now i can sport them without too much guilt.
I hope you're holidaying and enjoying whatever you are into. I'm sorry i've not communicated enough with you....you must be a few inches taller by now. I want you to know that no matter what happens between your mother and me and really, nothing bad should happen...just because we are apart does not mean we are not family.
Nobody wants to hurt anybody intentionally...sometimes people and particularly grown up people who live together have problems, its a natural fact of life. Sometimes you can work it out and at others, nothing helps.
Thus decisions are made that are hard to make and harder still to execute...we all wanna be happy and all of us have the right to pursue that dream of happiness, no matter how deranged some of those dreams might be.
I decided that i could not go on living in Holland doing things i wasn't happy with: So i made this decision that i had to get back to writing, work in a newspaper, a magazine et al. I told your mom about that and also the fact that we were no longer happy together... adults can be complicated...they have hang-ups that don't get cured or healed...
The only way forward then is to avoid being nasty toward each other and accept the pills no matter how bitter they taste.
It was one of the hardest things i've ever done. It meant i'd not get to see you for long periods. It meant we could not fool around in the park; go to the movies; the zoo or just monkey around the house.
I miss all of that. I miss seeing you grow. That is the price i paid. But we can make choices toward getting back together again and i believe we can work out an arrangement whereby you can be in Bhutan every year for your summer holidays. Of course it would be up to you too... but i do hope you will someday at least do one semester or more in a Bhutanese school.
And that's because I want you to know whatever you can about Bhutan. I want you to experience some things that are truly "Made in Bhutan." Like the physical beauty of the place ... mountains..hills..valleys .. plains .. cows .. yaks ... birds ... sheep ... takins ... languars ... ema datsi .. shakam ... clear mountain springs and rivers ... monasteries ... temples ... go on a road trip around the kingdom and see the unbelievable natural variety that surrounds this big-little country.
I imagine you'd love the stray dogs ... spring time swallows and turtle doves .... our king ... the way you can just get out of the house and play whenever and wherever you fancy without dearth of friends ... without appointments ... without time-frames...
Even as you go through this phase of not having me there physically..know that we'll always be father and son...know that i'm here... and i always will be.
And perhaps on one of those fine Thimphu evenings...many moons on....when you've grown into a young man...when the summer sun sets and there's a cool breeze in the air... we can talk about it all...over a pint, can or a bottle of beer... in Benez (You Loved the French Fries There).
Be Strong, Be Brave, Be Well and Always Keep the Faith....Love...Papa Jurmi