We arrived by boat to Kwan Yin’s island, Putuo Shan. the ocean was brown from silt with crashing waves and caves. It was nice to be near the ocean as it sounded like home to me. We looked forward to spending four nights in one place, settling in after a lot of wandering.
There were several caves that were converted into places of worship that we visited. The sounds of the waves in the caves were compared to the sound of monks chanting. Madlyn and I went on our own adventure one day as we wanted to walk along the shoreline. The view is different on foot – we heard the songs of birds and the buzz of insects. We inspected a fuzzy caterpillar upclose and kept our distance from a centipede with fiery red legs.
Eowyn (named after the character in Lord of the Rings) was mourning the death of her mom. We did a little ceremony on the beach one morning creating a beach alter and chanting. It was very touching and meaningful to a lot of us in many other ways. We were thankful that Eowyn was willing to share this with us.
A little writing group met one afternoon. I don’t in any way consider myself a writer, but I’m interested in writing. Tova, Jane and Robin (tall Robin) were the others in the group. We did a couple of writing exercises and they read their wonderful words. I loved hearing their words. It was a special afternoon.
Kathy wandered off one afternoon and found a little cave with a Kwan Yin alter. On the morning we left, she and I went to visit it and kind of say our farewells. We were headed back to the big city, Shanghai, and the tone of the trip would change. Kathy and I had been photographing, downloading, creating images, comparing notes throughout the trip. We were the perfect geeky, technoid roommates. Sharing her power cord for our computers was the equivalent to air for us to keep operating. We were like divers sharing a single tank of air. This journey was a spiritual one and productive creative one. Just amazing.