Lamentation of a Thai Craftsman

February 12, 2010
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Days later
and the Buddha will not wake.

I sat one time,
watching and watching,
just waiting to see him wake.

But he will not move.

I begged.
Got on my knees and cried and pleaded,
I took wood and carved it with
flowers, vines,
painted it with burgundy and gold,
shaped rich claw feet
and set the Buddha atop it all.
"There," I thought, "the grandeur should wake him."
But he would not stir.

Desperate now,
I paneled it with mirrors,
scrubbed them clean
so he could look upon the outside world.
But he would not budge.

I fashioned lookalikes,
disciples, servants from precious metals.
I prayed like mad,
painted intricate designs,
breathed life into ceramic pots
and filled them with gifts.
Pushed them eagerly in his face,
but the Buddha wouldn't wake.

He sat straight, peaceful,
eyes gently closed and a shadow smile on his
golden lips.

It is not art he wants.
It is peace, harmony,
almost impossible ideas.
And yet,
until we find them,
the Buddha will not wake.

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