19:46 hrs – Thimphu, Bhutan

Posted on January 18, 2010


The monk bowed to the abbot. The abbot bowed to him. What he wanted, it wasn’t time now to turn to the monastery. His work was on the street, in the villages, with the people, not with Buddha. The monk said he didn’t want to stay. He came to report a vision: he’d seen three children with shaved heads and wise eyes, clad in long robes hoisted to the knee and held in place with a woven cloth belt. The tallest of the three carried a larkspur. The middle one, a bowl of steaming rice. The last, a Betel nut. The abbot recognised the sign of the heavens. He thanked the monk and asked him in for porridge and water, then he went to the temple to pray, his heart a thundering dragon.

From the new series: 24 faces of the Earth in 24 hours, Christmas Eve