DAY EIGHT Siem Reap, Cambodia and the wonders of Angkor Wat
Not to get all philosophical or anything heavy like that, but I would like to ask you one simple question.
Have you found your place? A place that fits you as securely and tightly and perfectly as that small round stone in the larger lava rock pictured above.
Not necessarily your place in life….you might call it your place in the universe; a place where you can go to feel whole. The place that feeds your soul, yes, with healthy soul food. The place that feeds your imagination, your sense of wonder, your artistic visions, your comfort, your need for adventure, your peaceful spiritual wanderings and your core beliefs about wanting what the good life here on Planet Earth has to offer.
If you have discovered the place or places that can do this for you then you are indeed fortunate to be blessed with a sanctuary. A priceless place of renewal and safety where you can go for spiritual reward. Hopefully you can visit it often – and maybe it is a place in your own backyard….I hope it is close enough so that you can be there as often as you might like. Perhaps you have a selection of places; a handful would be awesome.
Here are mine:
- The Big Sur coastline of California, ending with a visit to NEPENTHE, perched at the top of the world, where you know. You just know things… For new awakenings.
- The Big Island of Hawaii, on a selection of beaches along the Kona coast of my Specific Ocean. The vastness of it all. The sanctuary of the waves.
- The Rocky Mountains, and a particular weekend retreat of renewal and refuge from the hectic life, located in the Conifer-Evergreen woods and canyons, elevation about 8300 ft. for the height and breadth and depth of it all.
- St. Paul’s Cathedral in London for the enormous sense of time and faith it offers. Dust particles dancing in the sunlight, high up; having been there for centuries.
- Santa Croce in Rome, housing the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo and other remarkable men, for respect of those who knew so much about life.
- Angkor Wat in Siem Reap Cambodia for its sense of wonder and mystery. How could it have been undiscovered for so long? What was life there like?
- The Buddha Tooth Temple in Singapore because it is one of the most fascinating peaceful places I have ever been.
I love to talk to people who have found their places. They are usually people anchored in knowing. They see things differently; more deeply. They are not necessarily religious, but they are wise in the ways of the universe. They know their way around and they know how to find serenity when they need it.
I hope you are one of those who knows.
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If you get off on color, pattern and texture as do I in my mixed media collage artwork and my contemporary abstracts, well then Angkor Wat can offer you a plentiful selection of all three of those as well as inspiration for color ideas ranging from weathered reds to terra cottas, burnt siennas and other shades of orange – originally all the structures were painted. The very high relief of the sandstone sculpture is astounding and reflects the sophistication of each temple’s design preferences. Simple carvings remained lower to the ground, for easy access by the common people; carvings increased in complexity the higher they got on the temple wall with the simple fact that it took more educated people who lived in the upper chambers to read them. To complicate matters, speaking in terms of art history, the historically Hindu Angkor Wat includes an invasion of Buddhists who breezed onto the scene sometime around the 14th or 15th century and proceeded to conquer and destroy all Hindu references to the Hindu god Vishnu! Modifying (smashing) the faces, headdresses, leg positions and arm placement of seated figures and transforming them to Buddhist! It is an abomination – and a horrible attempt – clearly an obvious and disgusting falsification of important art, and Angkor Wat remains Buddhist to the present day. One can easily see with the naked eye the areas where these uncharacteristically violent Buddhist changes were made in the carvings.