Saturday, February 26, 2011

Vineyard: Harbin as place as immersive, both watery & culturally, and in terms of attraction, a warm-water relaxation response, oneness, the natural

Harbin ethnography:

... Time for more Watsu to generate connectivity in oneness, now, in the warm pool, ethnographically.

While one starting point for this ethnography of Harbin as place is the 'visual,' as this chapter began, I understand Harbin as place in richly immersive ways, both watery and culturally, as well as in terms of attraction, as well as in terms of its warm-water relaxation response and related oneness, and, in some ways, as the natural. Harbin is beautiful in all these ways, and can be very erotic. Not only does 'visuality' play a significant role at Harbin, but so do many other qualities of the other four senses (some of which I examined, vis-a-vis the five senses in digital form, for example, in my “Gazing at the Box: Tourism in the Context of the Internet and Globalization” - MacLeod 2000 paper: While walking to the pool area along the village path to the pool area, you can smell the daphne (?), feel the fresh air, or rain, on your face, taste the ripe pear you had in your pocket, hear the creek, way below, rushing in winter, - all qualia of Harbin as place for me; sometimes while walking along this path I experience a kind of quality of trippiness – heightened, alive, imaginative and even somehow perception- and thought-transforming - in the wholeness of this trail, and walk, as I anticipate soaking in the warm pool with naked, cuddling Harbinites. And in the Harbin warm pool, a) seeing naked visitors and friends come in and out of the pool, most of whom are at ease and content, b) being among the fulsomely cuddling couples, of puddles or circles of friends, or cuddling or doing Watsu myself, c) smelling the daphne at pool's edge, or the Australian eucalyptus (?) leaves that occasionally drift into the pools, d) occasionally tasting ripe, brown figs that fall, or are picked, from the tree above, e) hearing the occasional sounds of enjoyment between cuddling couples, listening to the whisper of the wind, or the fall of a heavy rain in the warm pool, or the quiet exclamation of 'this is almost-too-hot' when people are going into the hot pool for the first time. Many of these are experienced in the easing warmth of the warm water which, for me, facilitates a kind of oneness. When the about 7 inches of snow fell on Thursday, February 17, 2011, and much clean, plant debris fell into the warm pool where the drains filled up quickly, with trees popping and cracking all over from the weight of the unusual snow, - all a form of naturalness, I and a handful of other folks hung out in the heart pool, heading into the warm pool after all the snow started to melt, - and I came to appreciate the clean, blue (sometimes green-ish, sometimes yellow or even a light bracken) color and naturalness of Harbin's warm pool, in contrast to the twig-filled, browning water, still clean and natural, but less-so than with Harbin's simple technologies of keeping the water lovely. The central Harbin Hot Springs' Mainside area, while natural, countercultural-emergent and Bohemian, in many ways, is a hippy-human-constructed environment where human decisions about technologies, informed by a kind of Harbin vision, give shape to ways of life and ease in all of Harbin's immersive and generative beauty as place.

In its warm pool and valley as place, Harbin's 'counterculture,' as 'social' sociocultural processes, involves connecting and interactions between more than one person (as a defining characteristic, too, of emergent virtual worlds like Second Life these days - Boellstorff 2008:92), in the pool area, particularly, which is very visually oriented. ...

( - February 26, 2011)

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