On the upper most peak of Lion’s rock there is a single entrance and exit. It can get congested like evening rush hour as tourists walking up interlace chaotically with the tourists walking down. Waiting my turn to dive into the human commotion I noticed a group of teenage monks doing what teens do, talking a little too loudly, laughing a little too much, and taking selfies. A charming clash of the innocent nativity of youth cloaked in the garment of enlightenment. I quickly put my Canon to my eye to snap the photo and paused… Then I saw him, near, unmoving, silent, staring out into a green abyss. No thinking, only reacting, I captured the moment before the swirling crowd rushed past my lens.
Him; cemented in one place, for centuries, and I with him. Seeds sprouted into small saplings that grew into trees of untold heights and crashed in terrible storms, generation beget generation, and love, fading only to be reborn anew in reincarnated souls in distant lands. The man made construct of time became fluid and bendable and wove itself around my memories with ease. I was a shy child peering through the keyhole of adolescence both enthralled and frightened by what awaited me. An awkward teenager struggling against a world set on defining my reality without consulting my black ambition, and an uncomprehending young man wanting to follow his heart in an unyielding world demanding not to have one. I relived each moment, of each of those lives, with him, on infinite repeat, or 1 minute, I’m uncertain…
I wonder what captivated him so? What mysteries were contemplated or secrets spilled upon stone? Did the future reveal itself and he transfixed witnessed our impending doom? Or his ancestors softly beckoned from the past to encourage his current path? Perhaps a sincere prayer of peace offered that might find its way into the fabric of our consciousnesses to pacify angry spirits? I will never know.
Possibly he paused a moment to enjoy a cool breeze offering respite from the heat of the day and the view transfixed his gaze as he did mine. And the journey I relived flashed by in seconds sparked by the scene of a small boy, alone, still, amidst it all, sharing a private moment with himself I captured. Even now, I’m moved to reflection.