I remember visiting Bangkok in 2005 and standing at an ancient Wat my father saying to me “I feel connected to Buddhism. Dad was not a religious man he understood and participated in many Unitarian Church activities when I was younger. But later in life, on his many visits with mom to Thailand he found peace in Buddhism. Its why I think early on he took so many pictures of the spiritual side of Thailand. He felt connected to that particular expression of religion.
My personal favorite is the reclining Buda. It is lactated in what is called the old city, near but not in the current city of Bangkok. Well not in what was the Bangkok of 1972. Bangkok is a huge city now that spans much more land than it did in 1972.
The most important lesson I learned very early in Thailand beyond the fact that its tough being a minority was that people are the same regardless. There is nothing a person can choose to do, be or a lifestyle that doesn’t make them a person. There are no anti-person activities. Certainly there are those that spew hate into the world. But they are still people. They are no less and no more than the people that walk up to them and hug them. People are comprised of dreams. Those dreams are what make us human. All of us have them. The dreams are no more or less because of where we are. They are no more or less because of who we are. They are because we are. I am a huge fan of Dr. Kings dream, not because it is a dream but because it speaks to the fairness of what is equality. All equal, from the day they are born to the day they die.
Not the type of canoe I was in in the river. You get the idea though. Dad loved canoe’s. We didn’t have one before we went to Bangkok but he got two after we returned (and around the time we moved to Sycamore Knows). We went to the sporting goods store up in Indianapolis and bought two Old Town canoes. One was a square rig (blue) with a place for a small motor). The other was a traditional canoe. We took those canoes and put them in the water all over southern Indiana. We took them with us on a couple of vacations in Wisconsin. I guess I never connected the dots until much later just how much dad loved water. I always thought it was mom that loved water but now thinking back dad did as well.