In Phnom Penh, I watch as the sun dissolves into the mighty Mekong, a river that has already journeyed several thousand kilometres and still has more to navigate before it can find the sea. I too have come from some distance. I too have places to go. For one golden evening we contrive a confluence. In the disquiet of liquid light, we will just flow together, just here, just for a little while.
at a stop light
I consider, again,
the moon frozen in my mirror
In the pale dispassion of dawn, what strikes you is not the idea, the being, the craft, the industry, the scale of Angkor Wat, but the expansive stillness. The anti-movement. The not-seeing. The not-knowing. The not-understanding. Which came first, fear or faith? Which came first, grandeur or pride? Which came first, love or incessant yearning?
just the unfolding of light
First, the jungle. Then they clear the jungle. Then they build the temple. Then the jungle reclaims the temple. Then they try to wrest the temple out of the jungle’s grasp. Then the jungle will prevail. I wonder if this is a lesson about impermanence, about power, about retribution or about inexorable truth. I feel the silence of trees older than the sky wrap its fingers, tight, around my soul.
ever after —
another night, another bedtime story
The walls of Angkor Wat tell the story of the churning of the ocean of milk by gods and demons, both looking for the ultimate elixir. The story of good over evil. Heaven over hell. We like life to work like that. We want life to work like that. We think we are like that. We think our demons have lost to our gods. We think, inside us, the ocean will give us what we seek. We think the ocean has to give us what we seek.
whose fault is it —
the paper boat
that waited for the rain
Cambodia Travelogue… Phnom Penh/ Siem Reap