[Flashback] Angkor Performance

Siem Reap, Cambodia. [May 2014]

If I had to (unjustly) distill the beauty of Angkor Wat down to one word, it would be: Mysterious.

Perhaps it is the dramatic effect of the Cambodian sun, at 5AM in the morning, transforming the serene temple silhouette into a psychedelic festival of colors.

Angkor_Wat_Pre_Sunrise_Sunset_Cambodia_DNXB
The magical serenity of the reflecting Angkor Wat…
Angkor_Wat_Sunrise_Colors_Cambodia_DNXB
…soon backlit by shards of sun rays

Or maybe it is the haunting aloofness of Bang Mealea, 37 miles off the beaten tourist path, that grants the chance encounter with the Enlightened Ones as they look over these ancient ruins.

Angkor_Bang_Mealea_Monk_Ruins_DNXB
Finding enlightenment at Bang Mealea

Or possibly it is the local people you encounter in a brief glimpse into this Buddhist country, fully at peace with the world around them – and with themselves.

Angkor_Wat_Preah_Khan_Nun_Monk_DNXB
She lights up a corner of Preah Khan with her smile
Angkor_Wat_Buddhist_String_DNXB
Tying a knot of good luck and good faith

Or it might be because beauty here is found in every form, everywhere – from millennia old statues that imitate life, to picturesque brick settings that imitate art.

Angkor_Wat_Bayon_Kiss_DNXB
Kissing one of the many faces at Bayon
Angkor_Banteay_Srey_White_Hat_DNXB
Like a work of art at Banteay Srei

Whatever it is, Angkor’s mystique holds a grip on my heart, beating and calling me to someday return, wishful that the magic has not faded with time

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.” -Albert Einstein

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