Monday, January 30, 2012

A Pile of Rocks

Today… was a hard day. We walked through parts of Angkor Wat, taking the bits between temples by tuk-tuk. We actually cut the day short because our driver had a wedding to get to at 5pm. The wedding has been playing loud music for the past twenty four hours. It's one of the most interesting and partially annoying things I've ever been subjected to.

The walking, though, wasn't as tiring as was the emotional part of it— I made a stupid calculation today and reaped the rewards of it, and the realization of my lack of judgement makes me pretty angry. It's also the reason I can't think of anything non-private I'd want to write about for this world.

Because it's the only thing I really feel I could vent about, it's the only thing I can think about in conjunction with writing. And it's too hard to write it down now, so I'm procrastinating. And because I'm procrastinating, by the time I have to go to bed, this will be a very quickly written post that doesn't describe at all what was in the temples we went to today.

Have you ever seen carved crocodiles? Or alligators? I did today. They were in bas-relief, hunting for fish about their size. People in canoes (boats?) were rowing above the water, and above that were birds, flying, each feather outlined in exquisite detail. All the animals and people were the same size. I think there was also a god in the sun (incidentally, Surya is the god of the sun. Sonya is the European version of it, if I remember correctly).

I love the elephants that are carved everywhere. I never knew how much I liked elephants until I reached Hampi and walked past a statue of an elephant… and realized that someone had actually taken hours— perhaps days— to carve out this stylized elephant. They're so realistic, yet so simple. 

We each of us have some thing that we love to photograph. If you show Ioan a bird or two and hand him a camera, he will be in heaven. Dad will stand in front of a crab and try to film it. Alternately, he'll stop us everywhere to take pictures of us.

If I see a scenic sky, I will be demanding the camera. Ileana looks for pictures for her 2500 picture challenge. Mom takes pictures for the blog, for herself, for artist's sake.

But with every elephant we see, every little animal that's a beautiful stone rendition of itself, I'm pointing it out— "Just look at the elephants!"

"Have you seen the alligators? Look at them! Look at this one. Look at the bird. Look at the fish."

"Look at that dancer!"

Angkor Wat could be described very concisely as 'a pile of rocks.'

But in this pile of rocks are half-eroded treasures, erased by rocks collapsing or covered by lichen and spiderwebs. And we saw only a very small part of them today.

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