While working on New Bohemians today I ran across this previous post. The quote from Jorge Luis Borges evoked memories: they flashed across my inner travel screen, not in pixels, but in soft amorphous remembered images, scents, labored lungs and heart, sweat soaked, cold shivers; wind cooled and sun warmed. Smiles from faces never to be seen again… I thought I’d re-post. Share.
A footprint in sand. Soon to be erased by the breath of time. A mark. An instant. One step of many. Why make it special? Do you note your marks? Do you listen to the sound your foot makes in sand? Do you feel the pressure, the texture, the cool or the heat? Just a thought.
Our risk was nothing compared to the average Laotian farmer, wandering children, firewood gathering women, who know their next footstep can mean death, or for some worse, maiming, in a poor country where everyone must contribute.
Some facts: 270 million of these bombies were dropped on a country the size of Utah. Of the more than 50,000 people killed or maimed by the bombings, 20,000 have occurred after the end of the war. An average of one person a day is killed or maimed in Laos now, nearly 40 years later.
Southeast Asia is made up of several compact, densely populated countries. Along with a change in currency and the sound of a different language, visitors to the region know they’ve crossed a national border simply by looking to the Buddha. Buddhist imagery and the philosophies it reflects are remarkably different from region to region worldwide, but the differences are especially pronounced in Southeast Asia.