The Buddha

Lughnasa                                   Full Artemis Moon

No.  Not that Buddha.  A small, bald, slightly pudgy baby Buddha.  That was what we called my sister when she was still an infant.  Mary had an inscrutable baldness going for her.  Now she lives in the land of the Buddha, the oldest Buddhism of all, Theravada, and has long since shed her Buddha appearance.  She’s traded the robes, or the diapers, of the Buddha for academic regalia, Indiana for Singapore, North America for Asia.

She’s been over there a while now, a long while, living a good part of her adult life on the Malay Peninsula, first in Kuala Lumpur and now in the Air Conditioned Nation of Singapore, a city state like days of old.

The life of an ex patriate had no texture, no reality for me until first Mary, then Mark ended up in Southeast Asia, both spending at least two decades there, plus a little.  That left me the only stay at home, still rooted in the Midwest.

As things go, however, I developed an ongoing interest in Asia art and from that Asian history and, in particular, Chinese philosophy, so we all share a common fascination with the Far East, though mine is more bookish and museum oriented while theirs is everyday life.

Mary has gone faraway and built a life in a land with lifeways and assumptions often very different from our own.  It’s an impressive achievement and as she nears her 58th birthday I wanted to acknowledge it.  Happy Birthday!  Dr. Sis.

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