Leo 22. A giant temple with many layers. It is in the shape of a mountain.
We kept finding stairways that ascended to the next level as we walked along the walled paths, the walls covered with carvings of people, animals, gardens, palaces, strange monsters and countless other curious things, all entwined in a vast, amorphous drama forever unfolding in the stone.
Adam kept stopping and gazing, trying to figure out the stories and we had to keep retracing our steps to grab his hand and pull him onward.
Higher up we came upon scores of stone Buddhas who faced in all directions, sitting crosslegged and meditating under bells of stone pierced all over with arabesques, several bells cracked, perhaps by an ancient, nameless disaster. We peered into the bells at these saints, and tried to see their closed eyes among the shadows.
When there were no more steps left the sky had grown vast above us, and from the top we saw far, across the jungle’s emerald sea.
And ever since I returned home, the mountain has been there, within, as if it were installed in me that day. And I carry it everywhere I go, forever surprised at its weightlessness.