content top

A pair of scruffy puppies play on the banks of Namcuo Lake in Central Tibet, May 2012

2012 05 18 at 14 11 43

Leave a Reply...

@尔晴Alice picks up Everest at the north base camp on a crisp, clear morning last month.

2012 05 21 at 10 06 33

Leave a Reply...

Alice thought having a photo of my foot as the first post of the website didn’t give a good impression, so here’s something more socially acceptable. Alice and I in Minneriya Wildlife Sanctuary in Sri Lanka :)

2012 06 19 at 18 17 00

Leave a Reply...

Why is this grown man posting a photo of his oversized left foot?

Foot

Is it some sort of mid – twenties crisis? A complete failure of artistic photographic ability? *Just a phase I’m going through*?

No.

It all starts about 18 years ago. I got my first verruca, on my left foot. That’s an english term for a wart on the bottom of your foot. A wart is a viral infection (not a fungus or bacteria) just under your skin, caused by a virus called Human Papillomavirus. It causes the skin to grow erratically and generates a nasty looking shape above the skin.They start really small and can grow quickly. Being in school, my job was to wear a ‘verruca sock’, a plastic sock covering my foot in a kind attempt to prevent it being picked up by other kids. It was eventually frozen off painfully by the doctor, only to reappear a few years later.

By my mid teens, my foot had four or five at the top, and one on the heel. They weren’t going away. Because they weren’t sore except in the heat, I lived with them. 

By my early twenties, the bottom of my foot was completely covered by large warts, like this: http://www.foothealthcare.com/images/articles/editor/warts.jpg, only  worse. On my heel, several large ones had joined together and most of my heel was covered with a huge, deep wart. They grew slowly, and I continued to live with them.

In 2009, just before Alice and I got together, I got my first wart on my right index finger. It grew slowly at first, then to about 5mm, and after a few months I managed to get rid of it in a rather painful mess which I won’t describe as it’s not relevant.

It came back about six months later, and got bigger and bigger. After an attempt to use an over the counter ‘freezing’ medicine from Boots UK to remove it, it grew even faster. By the end of 2010, I was trying all kinds of painful treatments including vinegar. In the mean time, four more warts had begun to appear in between and on top of my toes. Nasty!

Alas, in 2011, the year of my wedding, it returned larger than ever, a horrible 1cm cauliflower on my finger. Busy with wedding preparations, instead of fight it, I took to just covering it with a plaster. If you look at all the photos of my wedding to Alice, you’ll see the top of my right index finger is covered by a white band. It’s for the better, trust me!

Two more appeared on another finger, one growing fast. Clearly I was susceptible to the skin form of Human Papillomavirus, and my body couldn’t fight it. For the first time in over a decade, I decided to try to have the finger ones painfully frozen off with liquid nitrogen. The small ones on my other finger disappeared within a few months. The large one kept coming back, smaller each time. About six months ago, in January 2012, I had my latest freezing session. Since then I was constantly checking for evidence of it returning, which thankfully it didn’t. I paid no attention to my foot any more. I knew I’d be living with warts for the foreseeable future. It had been almost two decades, after all.

As you know, Alice and I have just got back from a long trip around Asia. We’ve been in all kinds of strange and wonderful places, and sometimes dirty, and checking my feet was the last thing to worry about.

Three nights ago, I looked at my foot, and noticed it seemed cleaner than normal. Holding my breath, I took the bedside lamp and shined it to illuminate the full palm. A sight which I’ve not seen my whole life greeted me, and in shock I gazed at my fully grown left foot, completely clean of warts on the top and bottom. Huge, deep verrucas I’ve lived with for ten years, gone. Warts which had grown fast and large on the top of my toes in the past year, gone. 

I struggled to analyse why, how? After so long, why should my body suddenly be able to fight them off during a long trip across China, Tibet and India? Warts are known to just disappear after some time, as I later researched, but still, after two decades, in my case, what triggered it? What’s your opinion?

* The recent freezing of my finger and attempt by the wart to regrow was met with a response from my immune system that eventually fought all the others too?

* Starting my journey with Buddhist meditation. Beginning to see things from a new perspective with new eyes. A calm of mind. 

* Travelling through many difference places and tasting many dishes of varying exquisiteness finally beat my warts?

* Being in Tibet. The spirituality. The high altitude. Lower blood oxygen level?

* Indian water – enough to kill anything?

* Other foot problems (toenail) stimulate my immune system to fight off the virus?

* Travelling through multiple climates and temperatures fooled my warts into confusion, and they came off?

* A critical number of warts in my system get noticed by my body such that it fights them all off at once?

Either way, travelling is usually the time when your immune system is weaker, and you pick up things you didn’t have before, not fight off a cronic virus you’ve been living with for 18 years. I’m happily baffled, but resolved my own response to the whole thing:

* It doesn’t really matter what thing or combination of things caused them to go. I am thankful, and have a better understanding of ‘nothing lasts forever’ or as the Buddhists say, the impermanence of all things, even if they look set to stick around forever! 

 

  1. Meditation (as it is known to boost the immune system)… and being married to Alice, which has brought calm and wellbeing to your soul!! xx

Leave a Reply...

Namcuo lake, Tibet. Magical, like so much of what we saw there. One day I wish to return…

2012 05 18 at 14 22 08

Leave a Reply...

Morning sun shines through a wave at Trincomalee, Sri Lanka last week.

DSC 6107

Leave a Reply...

Great to see Mike and Judy tonight. Wedding discussions!

20120626-230654.jpg


View this in a larger map

Leave a Reply...

Alice and Liza with Liza’s new baby, Kele, yesterday afternoon. A joy to meet a new member of the family upon returning to Beijing!

20120626-100947.jpg

.




View this in a larger map

Leave a Reply...

Back in the Jing, family cook Bing (chunbing), a tasty Pancake filled with delights. 10 dishes.

20120625-220831.jpg

:)


View this in a larger map

Leave a Reply...

一个永不结束的旅行 A never-ending journey

Alice put it so very eloquently in the previous message, how can I follow?

I too find myself a little overwhelmed by the material joys of being home, but left with an odd feeling of dissatisfaction. How to engage with new comforts when we have had little but the most important things with us on our journey? Even my computer seems alien, and those of you who know me well will see this as quite unbelievable; but I am not used to using a computer at all after almost three months without it. It feels like a distraction, a luxurious and beautiful product designed with the power to help, but also dangerously distracting, disengaging. How to mindfully use a computer? I don’t know yet. I shall have to learn.

Nevertheless, a mild bewilderment on our parts is an excellent sign, I think. It shows some of the filters in us, however small, have changed, and it is deeper than just ‘returning home after seeing some great sights for a few months’. 

Our linear, western minds have trained us to see abstract things such as beginning and end as real, solid. Alice and I have landed for the last time in this trip, we are back, and our lifestyle will change, but what is really over? Beijing shows signs of the greenery of spring, the new building at Fortune Plaza stands 200 feet taller, there are friends to meet, jobs to find, new people to meet. And so life now challenges us to take our new eyes, and make them see things we didn’t see before, and perhaps even pay less attention to things we saw as important before. The journey continues. Returning to a familiar place and seeing it differently is never the end. It is the beginning.

在之前的信息中Alice把它描述的那么生动形象,接下来我都有点不知道该如何表述?

我同样发现自己被回家之后的物质欢乐所淹没,但之后却伴随着一种莫名的不适之感。我们在旅行时除必需品外并没有携带许多身外之物,那时我们是如何体验到那种不同的、新鲜的身心愉悦感呢?现在对我来说,就连电脑似乎看起来都是多余的,像您一样了解的我的人可能觉得这不可思议;但是与电脑分离三个月后,我确实不再习惯用电脑了。电脑的出现之初就环绕着强大辅助功能的奢华、美丽的光环,但同时,电脑又那么容易分散人的注意力或让人与世隔绝。如何更加智慧的使用电脑?我还没有找打答案。这是我必须学习的。

然而,我认为这种小困扰是一种非常好的兆头。它显示了我们正在思考一些问题,过滤一些事情,虽然微妙,但是我们已经在改变,这并不简简单单的是“看了几个月的美丽风景之后回到了家”,而要更加深刻的多。

线性的、西方的思维训练让我们把抽象的东西看做是真实的、有质感的。飞机的降落结束了Alice和我的这次旅行,我们回来了,并且我们的生活方式也将改变,但真正结束的是什么?北京绿荫遍地,彰显着春天的绿色生机,财富广场的新大楼高达200英尺。回来后我们会见老朋友,结识新朋友,寻找合适的工作。生活的挑战促使我们以一种新的眼光去面对它。我们会看到之前从未看到过的,也或许会对以前非常在意的事物投去更少的关注。生命的旅行在继续。回归到一个熟悉的环境看到不同的事物有新的感受,这从未结束,而是一个开始。

IMG 3159

  1. 永远在路上

Leave a Reply...

content top