We heading out too early in the morning to Lumbini (the birthplace of Buddha). Lumbini is a pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Hindu’s (as Hindu’s believe Buddha was the reincarnation of Vishnu). In 1997 it was granted World Heritage status by UNESCO. Again, due to the road works, we would be on the road for over 5 hours. The journey only got worse, as we guessed we had to get out by the country border between India and Nepal. Here we waited for the taxi to our hotel (but no one arrived). After taking refuge in a café, we were taken pity on by the locals, as they tried to understand where we were going, and that the hotel hadn’t arrived to pick us up. A painful hour later, a hotel driver turned up to collect us. Taking the dusty road out to the hotel, it seemed as though everything was covered in a pale orange dust.
On the bus over to Lumbini, the Magician and I had another argument. The difficulty is when I have an argument, I physically withdraw. Its an automatic reaction, and not the best to the Magician’s reaction which is to need reassurance that I’m not running away. The argument spilled into the stiff silences. Wrapping me in an impenetrable bubble. After arriving at the hotel, our argument still hung heavy in the air. I refused to move, or get anything to eat. Leaving the Magician to go and explore Lumbini alone. Unclear on where our relationship stood.
The night passed slowly, I felt as though I could physically hear the ticking of a clock. For every second passing, it felt like a never- ending torture. I wanted to write, to run, anything to try and get out of the emotional drama that was rolling through me. The sun eventually rose, and I sat alone in the hotel room writing. Leaving the Magician to walk off some steam again. Hunger eventually forced me out of the room. Sitting in a café, trying to give an act of peace, I told the Magician to come and meet me. Agreeing to walk round the temples in Lumbini together in the afternoon, we explored all the temples, taking in the silent peace.
The first temple we came too, we sat and read all the homages to Buddha. His teachings written out, with Mandala’s colourfully hanging on the wall. Mandala’s are colourful geometric pictures which represent something spiritual or cosmic. The Mandala’s covering this temple were telling the story of Buddha’s life and different aspects of his Dharma. Now Dharma essentially means Buddha’s teachings. There is a saying, those who see the Buddha, see Dharma, those who see Dharma, see the Buddha. This saying for me was a little complicated, but I take it to mean that the Buddha was literally his teaching, as he was enlightened. But what do I know!
Leaving the temple, we continued to walk on together slowly. But there was now a heavy air between us. It seemed more and more impenetrable to me. The safety and pure love I’d felt with the Magician a few weeks earlier in France had left me entirely. My emotions rolling round and round my head, instinct kept telling me to run as fast as I could. I didn’t want this emotional drama any more. I was tired of it. I just wanted simple. We walked separately up and down the water canal which was flanked by different statues dedicated to Buddha. Eventually coming to the end of the canal I stopped to buy some meditation beads in the markets stalls. The space allowed my emotions to finally start to dissipate. To start to think logically about my own behaviour. I knew this time I’d been the one who started the argument. That I’d developed a pattern of behaviour since my ex- husband left me. Which was whenever our relationship was seeming to get more serious, I just wanted to bolt. As how could I stay when he might reject me, when the Magician might leave me? Yet everything and anything he said to me was the contrary. If anything he was more afraid I’d abandon him, so he would instinctively hold tighter onto me, which instinctively made me want to run faster.
As these pieces of the puzzle started to finally fit together, we talked about it. Step by step we were starting to really understand each other. Walking down to the Maya Devi temple (which was built on the site where Buddha was born) we gently wondered round the site. Enjoying the peace, until a hoard of teenagers asked for hundreds of photo’s with us. It gave us no end of amusement that compared to the 2,000 year old temple, it was no where near as exciting as some white tourists.