A Bond Finally broken

December 23, 2011: It's days began to feel numbered. During our final evening at the Anantara Resort about 55 miles north of Chiang Rai,  Thailand, on March 25 last year, on a hilltop overlooking the Mekong River and beyond it the countries of Laos and Myanmar in the area known as the fabled Golden Triangle, Susan and I were among our group of travelers who participated in a traditional ceremony in which a village elder ties a simple piece of string — called sai sin — around your right wrist, and offers with it blessings of good luck and good health and safe travels.

We were told to wear the strings for a minimum of three days. I kept mine on a wee bit longer: 331. There it is pictured at right, wearing thin, but still intact on December 23, 2011.

I’d been hoping the string would make it a full year, but it broke Saturday evening. Arriving home from the Watts Happening Ride I peeled off my right bike glove and the string came with it.

There was a pang of regret that its journey with me had finally come to an end, and in the two days since I’ve found myself reaching for it as I had done so many times to adjust it on my arm, only to be remember too late that it’s gone.

But there’s relief that I avoided the bigger pang that would’ve come had I discovered it gone after having broken and slipped off unnoticed somewhere out there.

Because I’m a sentimental sap I can’t just throw it in the trash, and considered keeping it for the next time I’m near enough to the ocean or the LA River to toss it in. But I’m not that sentimental a sap, so instead I burned it in a simple backyard ceremony involving a couple matches and an ashtray.

Goodbye, sai sin.


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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with laonstage.com, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."