July 06, 2005

Khao Lak

A couple hours north of Phuket are a string of beaches called Khao Lak. There is one road that runs through it with the beach off to the west. The land is very flat which made it the most effected place in Thailand by the tsunami. The wave washed in 1 or 2 km from the shore. Like PP, all the Thai's and a lot of volunteers are rebuilding and doing various projects. Unlike PP, there is no tourism at all. In a place that used to be as busy as the islands on the East side of the country, there are no boat trips, no diving, no vendors on each little side road and not one person on the beach. I thought my shock was wearing off, but it just happened all over again.

Through John, the person I met on my first day in PP, I had the pleasant opportunity to meet Chatchada. She is an art teacher running a camp that allows orphans to paint their thoughts of the tragedy onto canvas. Tomorrow I hope to meet more children, but today I worked with the women making purses they will sell for funds. There were square foot paintings hung all around us, each representing a different version of one event. Some of these will be made into other products. I tried a couple myself, and ended up with the most dramatic abstract painting I've ever made... actually haven't done many abstracts before :) I later noticed I had been in a trance, swashing large strokes up and down. Blue for all the water, green for the trees and everything in it's path, red for the lives it took and black for the grief that continues. With a white top and a sandy bottom, I created a huge wall of a wave which looked as powerful and mean as what I imagined it to look if I had been there on the beach that day, watching it come towards and down on me. P

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