Children shone in the front gate and put their hands together in the demon pavilion. Then they went up red-dusted steps toward the granite stupa, where they didn’t hesitate to bow with their mothers. Thick white candles with reverse swastikas and rows of images on the ascending plinths of stone. I crouched under the temple, in the cool shadow, by the outdoor Nestlé’s coffee dispenser—and was aroused when two women strode by in russet hanbok “Color of the dharma’s robes,” said monk Sôgu suddenly beside me. I followed him down the hill and sat on a log. There was a small lake and I was calm enough at last. . .to listen to my new uncle conduct the neighborhood’s Bodhisattva orchestra, seated on folding chairs in the mud beside it.
Copyright © 2002 by Walter K. Lew. Reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press. All rights reserved.