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Tuesday 200 — #73

The universe was holding its breath. That’s how still it seemed.

We’re lying back in an inflated sea canoe, stalactites hanging inches above our faces, slowly drifting into the cave’s darkness. A scratch cracks the hush, the match’s spark explodes like an antique camera’s powdery strobe. Shadows dance. Bat wings flutter. The sulphuric whiff transforms to jasmine as our guide lights the kratong’s three sticks of incense (one each for teacher, Buddha, scripture). Tiny candles are also lit, flames like giant fireflies, illuminating our offering – a bouquet of origamied banana leaves, orchids and marigold blossoms attached to a slice of banana tree trunk. We’re told to make a wish and let it float alongside us.

I realize I have everything I could want, and yet wish for more.

We float out of the channel and into the hong, a miniature lake surrounded by jungle-draped cliffs. If the tide came in we’d be stuck there for hours. Kratongs sparkle alongside our fellow travellers, whispers of awe swirl above the flickering water garden.

We leave the way we entered. A full moon, pregnant with light, shines through the hungry ghost who now sits atop me, hissing, “you were greedy with your wishes.”

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