Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Day of Mourning in Cambodia

Interrupting this blog to ask you to keep the people of Cambodia in your thoughts this holiday week. I'm looking for a good charity for the victims - still haven't decided - but will post here once I do.

Yesterday's mourning ceremony was beautiful and cathartic. I'm glad I went.

I bought a lotus and some joss sticks. I don't know anything about Buddhist rituals, but I guess that didn't matter much. I imitated what other people did. I laid my lotuses on top of the other flowers, and I put my joss stick in the little sand jar. I burned my thumb on it.

I was in the middle of a line of Cambodians wearing white and black. None of us talking much. The bridge had an almost unearthly shine on it. A sunny day, hot and clear.

I signed the guestbook with something wholly inadequate. Couldn't think of anything better.

A woman with the government approached me ."Thank you for joining us," she told me. No need to thank me.

There was a line of food offerings. I had some oranges, and I laid them down in a row. I guess if I understand anything it's an offering of food, of sustenance for the next life, of unmoored souls.

1 comment:

  1. I was very worried about you! You're always in the midst of excitement. You should have answered my facebook message. I'm glad you're okay.