The calligraphy is authentic and was made by a friend who was also a volunteer at the clinic in Thailand.
In Japanese, my name means “True Blessing”. Gee whiz, no pressure there. Just because my name means I have to be good doesn’t mean I have to deprive myself right? Then again, maybe there’s a reason why we were given our names. I observed how some people live up to their names, literally. If it’s not true, then where do you think nicknames originated? What do you think?
“If we are to be free, we must make each person we meet our ultimate object of reverence.”
-Burmese Buddhist proverb
The photo was taken one early morning while I was waiting for my breakfast to be served. The monks were going through their usual morning rounds, collecting alms from willing believers and this man was one of the workers in the place I was having breakfast. I observed and witnessed how he stopped in his tracks to offer rice to this monk, and then he knelt down, head bowed as the monk began to pray.
The Burmese quote on the other hand was something I read in a book I borrowed from the DPNS students.
I remember there was a time when I wanted to make interviews with Buddhists, Muslims and Christians here in Mae Sot in light of what happened to the monk and the massacred Muslims in Myanmar. In the interviews, I would ask them two questions:
1) Is religion worth the bloodshed?
2) Is religion making us better people?
But then I didn’t push through because I would have to learn Burmese or find someone willing to translate and that would mean that I wouldn’t be working alone. And then there would be the challenge of finding people to interview. And I guess I already half-heartedly conceded that my interests in film and advocacy would just remain as food for my imagination, and never really something I would actually act upon on and share with the world.
Oh well. So much for ambition and creativity.