Mastodon Michael Perry

Old buildings on my walk

Here in Siem Reap we are blessed now with beautiful warm weather so I get out every day I can to walk. I have these favorite paths but each one can be changed by simply turning down a side road or alley. When I walk I often end up back at the river on Pokombor Road. It zigs and zags along with the careful meander of the river. Sidewalks also carry people on either side.

As I got back to the river and the various places to walk I stopped at my favorite temple to let some peace and joy come.

It always does. The monks will wish joy and happiness when they give a red wrist bracelet. I feel sometimes returning where I received it I get recharged with both. One never cuts the bracelet off they say. It accumulates bad luck and falls off on its own. Then a trip to the temple and another recharge.

This all creates the pattern on my walk. The soft joy of river. The warm rush of breeze. The lilting refrain of some sad Khmer song. I know it’s sad because the voice sounds hopeful and then forlorn but I know not the words. So I assume the voice is telling a story of lost love or a one way voyage away from family. Maybe new challenges not yet faced. It matters not that I do not know the words. I just let the unknown sweep me away.

But then I’m back to the river. To the temple. I stop and just feel the quiet joy. One gate is locked but the other open. Always open to those that need peace. Temples in Siem Reap all over the place but this is the one for me.

There are old buildings gracefully standing guard. I love their basic looks. Each one is like a sentinel of some past. I take memories of them. Perhaps again for the first time.

Then my time coalesces. A sends a text message. It is both beautiful and sensuous. It wraps up this day.

I’ll head home soon. Stop for awhile in my room. Dream a dream. Feel the peace of a life spent not chasing things which are always one more step removed with each step closer. No notes taken. No digital garden tended. No lists made and broken.

Just me and moments. Life until Monday when A and I meet for dinner. Maybe beers. Then my room. And life and passion start yet again. Now quiet moments made of the walk and the after. Siem Reap just gives and I take. Living here is a meander like down those same roads and walks as today. The trees always line up for me and frame the beautiful skies.

And give me moments of joy, anticipation, happiness, solitude. I need measures of them all but not all.

January 29, 2023