Some of us are just wired that way!
Long live the dandelion! Always beautiful, full of promise. They are summer, all bright yellow, bursting through the fledgling green of spring to reflect the sunshine. Dandelions are a healing plant: root, leaf and flower, but most of all, all that yellow is a healer for the winter weary soul.
So yesterday the mystery of the zebras still made me smile, and I saw in the paper that there was a talk on spirit houses that very afternoon. I headed for Soi 23 and the Rojana Dhamma Center for the answer to my questions.
Of zebras, there was no word, and the talk so fascinated me that I forgot to ask . The talk was instructive about so much more than toy zebras. The spirit houses are about those other dimensions we, be we Thai or other, have so many open or hidden beliefs about. To the Thai, there are spirits just about everywhere, and no matter their religion or lack thereof, they are animists at heart and take the spirit world very seriously. So that the spirit houses can be home to the spirit of ancestors, of land guardians , of gods or angels. The spirit houses are placed out of the shadows and if possible beside a tree to which they are symbolically tied with ribbons or fabric. Trees being conduits of power between heaven and earth. Gifts are brought, offerings and prayers are made. Spirit houses are built and taken care of with religious dedication.
What I found so interesting was the attitude of the Thai towards gift giving. The moment of giving is the gift, the rest looses importance and the gift has no value after that moment of giving.
The size of the spirit house reflects the spiritual need and reach. Large hotels and malls have enormous spirit houses. Homes have much smaller ones. Some are abandoned. Other cared for even after the owners move away or die.
The spirit houses are still somewhat mysterious to me, but I look at the spirit houses a little differently now that I understand a bit more about them.
It s a strange and dangerous thing but in Asia there are occasional holes in sidewalks. These are unmarked and unexpected and definitely dangerous. Not only could you fall in and possibly break something but often these holes are over sewage or some form of highly polluted , stinky water. So in Asia I carry a small lamp with me when I am walking in the evening and watch where I step!
I’m in Thailand, in Bangkok actually. I like Bangkok. It ‘s an amazing city of continuums. There is abject poverty all the way to ridiculous wealth. There are sad little booths under bridges and immense ultra modern malls. Condos are being built everywhere, boasting all the modern conveniences yet people still sleep on the street.
Women have dubious standing and yet they are fierce in business, highly educated, aggressive and knowledgeable.
I’ve been looking for a traditional puppet theatre which I know exists in this culture of gigantic movie theatres.
And the zebras… another surprising oddity.