Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Morning Ritual

Today I spent my morning as usual, drinking coffee and reading the obits. I had picked out the ones I was going to blog about and then I read the travel section of the local paper. I normally read the Chronicle and my beloved reads the local paper. Today she was reading and asked me where Bhutan was. Truthfully I was not sure, I thought somewhere in Asia, but was not certain. For those of you interested, it is north of India and south of Tibet. She thought it was someplace I would like to visit and she was right. After reading the article I definately want to go and my beloved said she would like to go with me. So, don't be surprised if you get a postcard from Bhutan. Well, the postcard would BE from Bhutan, but it would probably be written on the plane home and mailed from our local post office.

But the article that that went along with the travel article was by a man named Randy McMullen who went on the trip with the travel writer and his partner. Randy lost his wife Marilyn suddenly three years ago. They had always wanted to go to Bhutan, but had never made it and when his friends decided to go on this trip, he felt the time was right to take the journey. He speaks of the prayer flags that fly all over the place - you take a flag or banner and write a message or prayer or maybe just a name on it and place it in an spot where the wind catches it and sends a prayer up to the deities or the person they are directed at. He found the right spot for his flag with the help of a young monk who knew where the wind would blow and carry the prayer to the right place.

Three years ago when I went to Thailand, I had a similar experience. Passing thru wat after wat, seeing how beautiful each one was, being confused at which ones we had seen that day, thinking things could not get better. We were taken to Wat Phra That Lampang Luang

where you could write a prayer or a name on a big yellow banner that would be wrapped around the stupa and whispered to Buddha. It gave me great comfort to write Jolie's name on that banner and believe her name was whispered. This past week, was the fifth anniversary of her death and it still gives me comfort to know her name is being whispered to Buddha.

I am sure that Randy's prayer reached the right place.

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