Tag Archives: Tibet

FF – Beaucoup de Templage

NOTE: This story doesn’t form part of the recent dating disaster series. More on that another time.

Photo credit belongs to David Stewart

Beaucoup de Templage

Twelve thousand miles from home, my spirit bathed in a different world. Cows rubbed themselves on statues and I wondered, did the sanctity of the Buddha soak into the cattle, or did bovine rubbing enhance the stonework’s holiness?

Men with painted faces took a coin in exchange for a photo, but they were holy men and we were the ones begging… for blessings.

In one of the oldest cities in the world, every step felt ancient, and yet the people living among the temples drink Pepsi as well as butter tea, and eat KFC where I learned to perform kora.


I logged in this morning looking for the next chapter in the dating series, but David Stewart’s picture instantly transported me to an incredible sets of memories. I have a terrible memory, (and aphantasia, so I can’t picture anything at all), but three weeks in Nepal / Tibet will never leave my heart. The title is a bit of language abuse my best friend and I came up with on a similarly incredible week in Cambodia.

I wouldn’t call myself a spiritual person, but those places bathed something very deep inside me. The confluence of Hindu, Buddhist and Bon faiths made Kathmandu particularly special. I’ve told my husband that when I die, he should bury me (or scatter ashes, I’m not bothered) under a maple tree, within hearing of a freight train’s whistle. But if there is a part of me that goes on, I’m pretty sure it will fly out of that Canadian country graveyard and make its way East, to the land where the prayer flags fly.

My photo – a cow, although in this case not a statue.
My photo (actually, my camera, someone else must have taken it!). I’m aware that the holy men one takes photos with in tourist centres are often people in costume, not true Sadhus.
My photo. A Himalayan mountain pass.


Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Fiction – Buddha is Patient

This week’s picture (from Dawn Q Landau) is both haunting and inspiring. Eventually it brought to mind the incredible journey of Tibetan pilgrims who walk hundreds of miles through mountains and bitter weather to reach Lhasa, kowtowing at each step. That is to say, they raise head and hands to the sky, then lie prostrate on the floor, then walk three short steps before doing it again. For hundreds of miles. It is an act of humility, of faith and of determination. And thousands from this tiny community do it every year. Most are young and unmarried, but not all.

If you want more stories, take a pilgrimage of your own to FF hostess, Rochelle’s page. Bowing is optional.


Buddha is Patient

“I leave at dawn. You need not wake.” She touched her son’s head as though he were a little boy; not a father himself.

“Journey will kill you,” he said, watching her gnarled fingers push a needle through the sheepskin lining of her apron and tie the final knot.

“Then I die in prostration.”

He shook his head silently. She would go anyway, and a rift now would serve neither.

“I die closer to enlightenment,” she added. “And if I do not reach Lhasa in this life, I get there in my next. Buddha is patient. I shall be too.”


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing