I Have Seen the World Begin: Travels through China, Cambodia, and Vietnam

A Blessing for the Traveller

An avenue of flowering mimosa. It was spring again! An overpowering scent had pervaded the countryside and driven winter back up the mountain slopes. Then: a rosy peak. The blue leaves of the eucalyptus trees.

Three pagodas. I counted 14 storeys, each lower than the one before, with the result that even from a distance I had the impression of standing at their feet, head tilted back, and seeing them tower, foreshortened, above me. I would never have the chance to take a closer look at them. Already they were falling behind. That is how I will always remember them. From the perspective of the departing traveler, mysterious in their remoteness and rich in their mystery.

Such is the blessing we may grant ourselves: not to see everything.

Carsten Jensen, I Have Seen the World Begin: Travels through China, Cambodia, and Vietnam

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