Friday, March 20, 2015

Taking a Retreat From It All

A trip up the Muda Dam to spend three days and two nights out in the wilds.I have laid aside all my preoccupations with blogging and  sketching and painting, just decided that enough was enough. With what little money I had in my pocket just enough to get me to where i was headed i drove my Kancil and headed for the hills so to speak. It just so happened that when i was having dinner at one of the roadside stalls in Belantik  a guy invited me to take a trip with him and his group into the Muda Dam area where they were planning on setting up a 'Danau' or small resting area with the intention of turning it into a tourist area; at no cost to me financially! So i jumped at the chance and  the next thing I knew I was feeling like Joseph Conrad headed into the 'Heart of Darkness'

The water is fresh water  supplying the entire Northern region of the West coast of the Malay Peninsular and lately it has been at its lowest level due to the drought. The Muda Dam also feeds into the Pedu Dam which lies on a lower level from the the Muda is located and in the past few weeks the flood gates inot the Pedu Dam has been closed thus stopping water from the Muda from entering into it. Hence the Muda water level rises again.

There used to be villages below these waters and these tree trunks sticking out of the water are remnants of what was once thick forest areas. I learned that there were graves and hidden caves too that was sunk beneath the water as folks around the area would tell of  folklores about how in a few of these caves the villages were able to  'Borrow' from the the spirits within whatever untencils they needed for any form of 'Kenduri' or feast. These utensils must be returned after the events even the broken ones  failing which the 'services' was ceased as this had happened before to one of the villages.

In these modern day and age where there is so much apathy towards nature and its glory  or where nature has become a source of money making like all else a trip like this is becoming more and more rare and the impact it has one's consciousness is no bout deeper than one can feel as it is like Joseph Conrad in his book tried to  share with his readers of hi journey into the Heart of  Africa. A trip like this even if it was just for a few short days helps to stir to surface my primordial instincts if not my sense of creativity.

In the Movie Apocalypse Now with Martin Shin and Marlon Brando a good part of the movie was filmed of the boat trip taken by Martin on his way to find the 'Mad Colonel' in his jungle lair; this kind of trips always brought his scenes back to my memory scenes of the Movie. I imagined eyes peering from among the bushes and trees at us as we cruised slowly only to the sound of the boat's motor but our minds were still.

As e got deeper into the forest the river narrows down and the scene around us becomes more subdued and calm almost mysterious and creepy. I could almost felt the heartbeat of the jungle as we cruised towards our destination with the motor turned off for the water was too shallow at some points and we had to push the boat along wading in the nice cool water. 

Words can only describe what the feelings was like after the event has been experienced but the experienced itself can only happen if and when you are willing to make the move to want to be in touch  with it and Nature has in store what no money can give you, a touch of who you truly are in all the schemes of life itself.

As we headed into the forest my heart was lightened from all my cares and worries of the world that I had left behind, Georgetown and all that the City had to offer.

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