And so we went. And so it went. And, slowly, I began to learn: speaking in the same language does not equal communication, especially when there is a cultural divide.
I looked out again at the rising moon and I let the weight of my day, my week, lift away with the rushing wind as I was blown into the depths of myself.
Somehow, we were passing the boundaries of language and finding clarity in shared thought, even if we were just talking about beer!
We'd never seen anything as green as these rice paddies. It was not just the paddies themselves: the surrounding vegetation - foliage so dense the trees lost track of whose leaves were whose - was a rainbow coalition of one colour: green. There was an infinity of greens, rendered all the greener by splashes of red hibiscus and the herons floating past, so white and big it seemed as if sheets hung out to dry had suddenly taken wing. All other colours - even purple and black - were shades of green. Light and shade were degrees of green. Greenness, here, was less a colour than a colonising impulse. Everything was either already green - like a snake, bright as a blade of grass, sidling across the footpath - or in the process of becoming so. Statues of the Buddha were mossy, furred with green.