That trip to Thailand, far outside of my comfort zone so many years ago, is largely lost to my memory now--except for this smooth, black begging bowl sitting on the corner of our piano.
|Bowl on Tapa Cloth|
To be honest, what strikes me now about this bowl--and the Tapa Cloth from Fiji that it sits on, for that matter--is that there is no going back to that moment in my youth when a pilgrimage for a handmade alms bowl seemed so very important. Life just keeps moving forward, even if in not-always-perfect fits and starts. I am sure that my 20-something year old self could have never, not in a million years, imagined that the handmade alms bowl she spent hours searching for in the tangled streets of the seemingly forgotten neighborhoods of Bangkok would become the repository for the mismatched pieces of forgotten kids' toys. The bowl, it turns out, makes a pretty decent junk drawer.
What does it mean when the sacred object of one's youth becomes a catch-all for ribbons and pens and sundry knickknacks? I don't know, really, but, somehow, this bowl full of toys strikes me as the perfect metaphor for what it's like to become a parent.