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  • A great silence follows after a stony coldness.

    It's quite like how I feel today. And it's quite how I felt when I took this photograph.
    I sat under the three tiered willow wood roof of a monastery I had been meaning to visit for three years.
    Open skylights reach out for the sun here in this snow, a natural frosty preservative for the frescoes creeping up the mud walls.

    I have never felt so cold.
    I instinctively slipped on the woollen socks set by the side of the door. The monks have never made big shows of politeness here. You are free to react to the signs, the objects. It is possibly the most relaxing aspect of my experiences in this part of the land. The objects are placed for reasons. You don't ask for permission. You just act on your better judgement.

    The morning hum of monks bounced of the mud walls, off of the high ceiling. They sent around tea.
    My friend of four days, looked over at me from across the cushions and shared a smile. I relish shared smiles. It felt wonderful to keep in time with the silence, map the same experiences with another, a stranger who happens to tap into the same energy, at pretty much the same time. A stranger, now an old friend. Everything placed for a particular reason, no permission needed to partake, same as before. No place for co incidence.

    I fumbled on my way out with my lens cap, the focussing, my gloves. I could feel the bones of my feet freeze as I stood still. It felt necessary to capture the darkness my eyes had gotten used to, and maybe some of this silence.
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