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January 31, 2004

Posted by anoddphrase in Uncategorized.

this is for when some monks came to our school last year and did a sand sculpture. it was awesome…


Smooth white walls and a symmetrical, geometrically correct ceiling, with paintings that varied with the artist.  On the light-colored wood floor, a faded rainforest green rug sat with monks in contrasting burgundy and gold clustered in the center, bent, their heads touching gently over a large blue tile.  People, students, teachers, and adults alike, stood, leaned, and crouched at the edge of the border twisted with golden lines.  Watching, ever watching.  One woman, with ringlets of dark blonde hair, sprawls at a corner of the rug, her pencil softly scratching at a piece of paper.  The whirring sound of blunt metal rubbing gently and perpetually over more textured metal hummed through the air.  I wondered, as I wandered in, whether or not the school had coordinated the art hanging on the wall with the monks’ stay here.  The rounded shapes and neutral, softened, fading colors complemented the soothing atmosphere the continuous grating that the Tibetan monks were creating.  Almost exactly in the center of the rug, on the blue tile, an intricate pattern of color and shape was forming.  At the southern end was a table elaborately decorated and draped to form an altar paying respect to the Dalai Lama, in the form of a painting that I had originally thought to be a photograph.  In one gentle, precise movement, one of the holy men straightened from his task to upend a polished metal tool over one of the small plastic containers holding multicolored grains of sand.  His small, dark eyes darted around to linger on the new faces that had arrived upon interval, their footsteps like muted clunks on a drum.  My gaze followed his and I wondered if he minded being stared at like an exhibit in the zoo.  A low, almost indistinct murmur in another language escaped his mouth and his colleague beside him straightened as well from his straining back position, to adjust the white surgeon’s mask that covered his nose and mouth.  Didn’t their backs hurt after staying in that same position after so long?  Laboring tirelessly over a Pantheon of sand, so arduous to create, so simple to destroy.  So much like life itself.  One of the monks crawls on his knees off the mat to inspect the work of the other artist in the room, who has moved her view on the medium.



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