Story Inspiration - Photo Reflections from Thailand by Kiyomi Appleton Gaines
This week, Enchanted Conversation Magazine would like to thank, Kiyomi Appleton Gaines, for sharing her photos and thoughts from her recent trip to Thailand. We hope Kiyomi's art and words can serve as story-inspiration for our readers.
The old city is in ruins, falling down, overgrown with trees and plants. The forest is taking it back. Yet still they know the way along the old paths and animal trails.
They climbed into the old temple, ruinous and crumbling, steps worn by a thousand foot falls and weathered by the years. They climbed to the place where the image used to sit, of the one they and they ancients worshiped. Behind it was an alcove, hidden in darkness, thick with mosquitoes and damp. Outside the sun was setting.
Stairs curved now, down, as many as they had climbed up the crumbling edifice, and more. The air was heavier here, and grew cool. Their candles flickered, casting shadows and illumination over images engraved on the walls of their descent; images offering instruction to those who would come to this dark and hidden place.
Wax droplets covered each step, wax pools reflecting the path taken, the points of pause and lingering where others had come before. They could feel the slick and slightly greasy wax beneath their bare feet as they walked, a contrast to the grit of each rock chiseled stair. They did not linger at the images, their instruction unnecessary after long practice. They could hear the dogs outside as night fell, and then, later, inside, the trickling of water.
They carried offerings; rice, water, flowers, fruit, incense. The food and water are always consumed when they return.
The image of the old one they worship is gone, long degraded, broken by wear and time, or ruined or removed by others who do not follow this old way. But they still know where to come, how to pray, what offerings to make. The old city is in ruins, yet still they come.
All photos by IJGaines/KAGaines
Kiyomi Appleton Gaines is a contributing editor at Enchanted Conversation Magazine who writes stories and articles inspired by folklore and fairy tales.
Find more of her writing at A Work of Heart
and follow her on Twitter @ThatKiyomi
Cover by Amanda Bergloff
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