There was a young man who said, ‘Damn,— Alan Watts
for it certainly seems I am
a creature that moves
in determinate grooves;
I’m not even a bus, I’m a tram.’
“So here I am: uprooted. Derailed and in the wind, by my own volition.”
How do you do? My name is Eli.
The sentences above about being uprooted and in the wind were the opening words of the original “About” page. I wrote this in late November 2019, when I had just arrived in Asia from the Netherlands. It was my first time in that part of the world and I was learning to make a website and create a blog, with which I wanted to keep the people at home up to speed. Initially then, A Tram was simply a means of sharing my experiences with loved ones and other interested individuals.
Living in the Wudang Mountains in central China, I spent the better part of a year studying Daoism and practising Wudang style taijiquan and taijijian. I say “studying”, but “living” would be a more fitting verb: from the meals I ate to the meditative walks I took, the Daoist, natural and balanced way of life was a reality far more than a merely cerebral exercise in philosophy.
I never came to China to try and “find myself”. That always seemed to me to be a rather odd, if not impossible, undertaking; I was right there where I was: no need to look. Rather, I expected to learn some life skills as well as the above-mentioned practical philosophy in what I called my gap year, which ensued after a year of recovery from burn-out. A different tack, a wholesomer approach of striving less and flowing more. Of being a little bit less like a tram confined to its tracks. I have not been disappointed.
Gradually, as I created a podcast (the Taoalogues) and wrote more philosophical or essayistic pieces as well as a larger work of fiction (The Dao of Mei Li), it became a platform to make these ideas and words public for a larger audience. These are freely available to be read by anyone who visits the site.
The more personal blog posts are categorized as “private”. Friends and family can obtain the password by sending me a message through the Contact form (in the About menu at the top) or through other channels.
This, then, is A Tram Takes Flight, in its present incarnation: texts on Daoism and life.
Welcome on board!