Thursday, August 21


with these:

+ a newfound respect for temple architecture
+ intense fascination with the beliefs these buildings were funded on
+ immense wonder at (usually a temple's) time-drenched history
+ quiet, tremulous awe, and a kind of infatuation, for the people living what seems to be a truly alternative existence
+ a single recommendation to visit a temple poetically named "field of flowers", by sombut (whose own name means something along the lines of 'quiet mind')
even if without these:
+ enough baht to go spending on transport to-ing and fro-ing
+ a local friend who could show me the inner works, of belief, of thai culture, of a monument's past
+ the bit of map to show me the way
+ assurance that i would find what i was urgently hoping, praying to see and have
plus sunblock, the crazed certainty wrought by the former was enough for me to brave these:
+ 2hour (time to get lost) walk west of the old city in the sun (a 330pm sun in thailand is like a noonburn, baby, burn)
+ 1.5hour walk back in a drizzle
+ half a map (the wrong half)
+ lingering around the compounds of this 14thC temple, wanting to see, hear, feel, more

[wat suan dok. chiangmai]
closer.. until my entire world is a simple, undistracted focus, framed by you.

the main stupa. a brilliant contrast against the white and grey sky.
it commanded, invited, silently.

[wat suan dok. "city of the dead"]

endless white all around drew me;
there is this eagerness to join with it,
an elevated purity, away and clear at last.

eyes never leaving it,
i climbed over the fence, and entered through the side.
found myself in a white land of past kings and queens,
dead, quiet, and not here.

an average plot seemed a daunting portal.
i looked around at the different sameness,
mind scratching at the other language,
an uncomprehending fool wanting to join

on the outside, i'd waited, for the sun to relent a lil, to recall/refine a purpose. and on the outside, another monk'd paused, and took me through a rather psychedelic ride through yearnings and past pains, humourous musings and, inside. he took me within.

and we sat unfolding our thoughts to each other, a million monkey minds.

a cambodian monk, living and studying in the north of thailand, chattered about the many turns of a life, and hassled with me over the workings of how we (are used to) thinking. formal language faltered, but his hands, glittering eyes, and a face smiling, thinking, musing, made me do all three along with him. i think you would make a good president, chenda, a one-of-a-kind.

the remnants of a past sojourn through thailand exist in embedded memories, photos, scraps of paper, etchy words, and an email:
... but you can think about Mind with me.

Your friend,

[all pictures at wat suan dok.
thailand. chiangmai]

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