| a newfound respect for temple architecture
| intense fascination about 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 monk sombut (whose own name means something along the lines of ‘quiet mind’)
Even if without these:
| enough baht to spend 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
. Thailand, Chiang Mai, Wat Suan Dok
. city of the dead
Gates. Closer, until my entire world is an undistracted focus, framed by you
The main stupa.
A brilliant contrast against the white and grey sky. It commanded, invited, silently.
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 those 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,