This monk doesn’t seek to own much in this world as his ultimate goal in enlightenment is to detach himself from material longing and self gratification. As I trudge around a 40 lb. backpack along with my 25 lb. camera bag, I am amazed and even inspired by how these monks live. This man was walking down the road carrying only a small satchel, likely with a backup robe, and his umbrella in case it rained. In showing me respect as I passed him on the street, he clasped his hands together bowing to me.
I don’t know where he was going or where he is now, but we shared a very human moment. We made eye contact and acknowledged each others presence. No words were spoken, and no further communication occurred, but of the 7 billion people in the world, he and I breathed the same air and shared the same space. That is one of the amazing parts about traveling. Meeting people who are so vastly different from us, yet when you are intentional, these people can make a lasting impact on you.
I love this portrait because every time I look at it I am reminded of simplicity. I am reminded of the thrill of adventure and the unknown. Wanderlust takes over my mind as I imagine this man just wandering the planet with his umbrella strapped to his back. Questions abound of the things that he has seen, the friends and family he has left behind, and his plans for the future. I wish I could have more of an interaction with such an interesting man. But because of our different backgrounds and ways of life, a simple clasp of the hands and bow of the head will be our only earthly interaction.