Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Love Letter

Dear Tibet,

You had me at hello. Or rather, at the deep red brass-knockered double doors leading into that hello. Though I know this is old news, I figure you deserve to hear it personally: You are breath-taking. Give me an expansive sky and a heavy dose of rugged terrain and you'll have my heart indefinitely. (Which you do.)

Today hundreds of pilgrims fresh from the mountains led the way into your Potala Palace, and the personal quarters of the Dalai Lamas (#5-14). There, they prayed, prostrated, and spooned thick yak butter from their personal supplies into huge burning copper bowls. They taught their russet-potato-cheeked children to do the same.

Then, a courtyard full of shouting monks debated the nature of emptiness, jumping and smacking their hands, thwacking their beads, and swirling dust around their crimson robes. We've only just met, and already you're showing me this? What intimate beauty.

This is daily life for you, Tibet, but it is astounding to me. I mean, honestly, you've fed me yak meat 4 times in the last 2 days! (Don't get me wrong, it's delicious. Especially the Momo dumplings...Chengdu's dumplings would blush.) Tomorrow I plan to follow the pilgrims again - this time around one of your mecca-like clock-wise prayer circuits. I've resisted your chunky turqoise and weavings so far, but a girl can only hold out so long...and it probably won't be long, as I'm afraid my judgement has been more than mildly impaired by your intoxicating razor-thin air.

You fill me up in that big blue sky, sharp mountains, beaming ruddy faces sort of way that embodies so many of my favorite places from Durango, CO to the High Atlas of Morocco to Taos... to you, Tibet.

This is more than a mild infatuation.