July 10, 2010
Dear mum and dad,
hi! I was up bright and early this morning thinking I would give you a call, but it was raining hard and the close-by phone place was closed. Five minutes out, and the front of my pants legs stick to my thighs and I decide to give it up and head back to the Yellow House (guest house) for some reading and writing. The rain appropriately slows us down, which is nice sometimes. Yesterday Jon, Guru and I headed up to the hills on the edge of the valley to a holy place called Pharping. Buddhist temples of generous proportions dot the hillsides, and people offer to sell you prayer flags, hang them for you (I’ve heard that sometimes people hang the flags for you while you watch then when you leave, quickly take them down and sell them again) or butter lamps. The hillsides are such that caves have developed and water wears the earth away leaving strange patterns in their roofs. The caves would feel holy if not for all the selling going on. At one temple, the priest or nun (I thought it was a man, Jon thought it was a woman) asked Guru in Tibetan if we were there to give money, and when guru said no, the priest said, then tell them to go home and closed the doors. We found respite in a huge nunnery with one of the most incredible main worship rooms I have ever seen. Despite the splendor and obvious wealth of the place, it had a peacefulness to it that we had not found elsewhere – no one asking for money, an invitation into the main room.
Today I have some phone calls to make. Funny how sometimes it’s so hard for me to make that social effort. I don’t know why that is. Perhaps it’s a feeling of obligation that I push back against. I don’t know. How was your visit with Dan and Nancy? And now not so many days until you head to England. Do keep me informed. I love to get your emails.
So much love to you both!