Halfway Around the World

Steve Freeman’s plane touched down in Bangkok, Thailand. He grabbed his carry-on bag, then grabbed his luggage from inside the airport, and met his contact, Sarawut. They greeted. Sarawut suggested, “Let’s stop by a temple and release a bird tomorrow, ok?” Steve agreed.

The next day they released a bird at a temple. Steve watched the bird fly away and a cat vainly try to catch it. The scene caused Steve to reflect on his own life: he related to the caged bird. He remembered his upbringing back in USA: he remembered the restrictive cult he was raised in, how he lacked opportunities, and felt like he was going nowhere. He remembered encounters that gave him the courage, like the bird, to leave the cage. Thus, he smiled at the bird. “Fly on, my friend”, he said.

Steve related to a monk’s describing the Noble Truths of Buddhism. “Association with what is disliked is painful, disassociation with what is liked is painful, not getting what one wishes is painful.” The monk went on to identify cravings as the cause of suffering. Steve found himself identifying with these statementts.

Afterwards, Sarawut and Steve went shopping in the floating market.

This is a post for Sunday Photo Fiction; also the source of the photo.


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Christian, freethinker, believer, skeptic, seeker.

14 thoughts on “Halfway Around the World”

  1. Somewhat reminds me of the Jewish practice of Tashlikh. On the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah (New Year) which is ten days before Yom Kippur (the day of atonement), the congregation gathers at a large body of flowing water, (river, lake, ocean), recites certain passages from the Bible as well as other prayers, and then throws small pieces of bread into the water, symbolizing discarding their sins. Lest you think this is silly, it’s first mentioned in the Bible in Micah 7:18-20.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh! My comment sent before I was done typing! I was going to go on and say I love the nonjudgmentalism of the phrase: in American culture, acknowledging those things as painful will offend some people, who feel it is a sign of selfishness and ingratitude. I love that this phrase says that it’s ok to feel that way, and offers a solution.


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