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The Gateway to Angkor Wat Temples

Flashback March 2016

Banteay Srei, the Citadel of Women, is a 10th-century Cambodian temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Built largely of a hard red sandstone that can be carved like wood, the structure features detailed reliefs and carvings.

stone detail

The complex feels like the Brooklyn Botanical Garden with landscaped walkways and pools of water. As I stroll through the nature preserves, I revel in its simplicity. At the midway, I am accosted by a mother and her children pestering me to buy postcards or give them money. This is a common sight in Cambodia and all the tour books and guides warn against giving money to these children who have been pulled out of school to beg for their parents.

The ride to Banteay Samre passes through pastoral surroundings of rice paddies and local villages. One home was airing laundry on the fence of their farm, brightly colored flags in turquoise and amethyst. Sok stopped on the route to East Mebon for me to taste palm sugar, a sweet created from the sap of the palm tree.

East Mebon, another 10th-century temple is also dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and honors the parents of the king. The structure is filled with doorways metaphoric and real, framing images of the forest, where you can imagine parallel universes and time travel. There is one area that was once a causeway over a now barren moat, that feature faceless guards, who dare I say ‘had back.’

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 8.34.27 AM

Sok brings me to the Pre Rup temple last to view the sunset. The temple is undoubtedly majestic. The temple blocks are humongous in comparison to Angkor Wat, and it’s hard not to feel like a child climbing a giant’s staircase to the summit where hundreds of people have gathered to watch the sun’s descent. The temple’s name translates to “turn the body,” and refers to the Cambodian funeral rite where the body is rotated in east-west-north-south directions before being cremated.

Hundreds of people gathered for the sun’s descent. I overhear a group of senior citizens, their New York Jersey accent jarring in my head. I decide to climb back down and view the temple as the sun descends from below. I walk through the crumbled hallways and bask in the beginnings of twilight.


underneath my feet

one year later … and what i really want to say is how much a years worth of decisions or indecisions can change your life. seriously, what a difference 365 days can make.

if you think about it every year is filled with endings and beginnings. people walk into your life and they walk out. opportunities present themselves, some better than others. doors appear from nowhere, some are  open, some are locked, some are waiting for you to nudge them in either direction. life is a series of moments both active and still, depending on what road you are traveling on.

 

this road that i am traveling moves forward regardless if my feet comply. even as i stand still, i can feel it rumbling underneath my feet with tremors of encouragement. it is a lifeforce unto itself. sometimes i forget how powerful the universe can be.


only breath

comfortably me with my dhotti yoga pants and tevas
walking barefoot on the sand and concrete
dangling legs, toes dipping into the water’s surface

you ask me who i am
i don’t know what to say
i am constantly evolving
there are so many things i don’t know. yet.

like who i want to be when i grow up
where i want to live
how i want to die.

leave me be,
breathing into this moment,
only.


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by snippets of text, free form

one hundred forty.


define nasty tweet

anger, frustration

air your dirty laundry please

just not on my line.


mirror

it’s not important
that you recognize me,

it’s only important
that i recognize myself.


a new blog, an old blog

You will no longer
Find prose musings on this page.
I’ve decided this

blog should be about
my poetry in motion:
haiku perspective.

Other stuff found here: http://bkgardenapt.blogspot.com/