May 25, 2018 Cambodia
Cambodia is old. Loving. Poor. Calm. Quick to Smile.
Everything is bathed in a rusty red color. From the Buddhist’s monk robes, the dirt, paint, and even the horizon at dusk has a blush to it. The local skin tones resemble worn brick and the children have these big brown eyes that are wide open to their world. From what I can see it’s a world they are comfortable in, not needy. Their little hands willing to sell trinkets and youthful bodies that live in a constant state of never being fully clean seem at ease. Some children and livestock look like they aren’t getting enough to eat but are still quick to smile, making me think that they are fulfilled.
There is a 1,000 year old stone that climbs its way up to heaven from the ground here in Cambodia. I have to shield my eyes to look up at the looming tower of Angkor Wat. The earth has provided us with such amazing resources to use; to build with, to eat, to decorate with, and to simply create with. These stone edifices show me that. The sun beats down and the heat of the earth seeps into you from the soles of your feet. The only reprieve from the sweltering air is when I step inside the stone ruin. The jungle wants to reclaim the land. You can feel how it hugs at all the temples in the area. The temples are seasoned and tired. They are breaking down and time has split them so they are exposed, bare, and (the word we all hate) vulnerable.
As I freely roamed the collapsed piles of stonework I kept hearing a line I read in a book somewhere that said, “The more shattered you become the more open you become.” I realized how true this is of people and architecture.