Rice in My Socks

Today, I’m leaving Luang Prabang to travel to Pakse in the southern region of Laos. Then from there, I will travel over into Thailand, spend the night in the big city there, and go to a Buddhist temple called Wat Pah Nanachat first thing in the morning. The Thai visa allows me to stay for 15 days and I intend to use that whole time for visiting the temple.

I get down to the bottom of my guesthouse to put on my shoes to get breakfast before starting on my journey. I’m trying to feel my socks by my toes because there something in them that was making me uncomfortable going down the stairs. I just had them washed, so it shouldn’t be dirt or sand. Maybe it’s string from the seem where they’re coming apart. I feel it in both socks too, slightly worse on my right foot. I’m talking to the women at the reception desk, so I’m only half paying attention on fixing my sock and half on talking, which actually means my attention was in the ether somewhere. We stop talking and I take off my sock and turn it inside out to find a crusty clump of rice, in the same spot in both socks. You’d think I’d be grossed out or wondering how the hell I got rice in my socks, but it catches me so off guard I just burst out laughing. There’s no reason to find meaning for it, it’s just there, so I might as well get a good laugh in. The women just cleaned the floors though, so I get out of there quickly before they find out I’m dropping rice everywhere. 

At breakfast I think about it again and laugh, but now for a different reason. I hope the rice in my socks can be a good metaphor for my trip to the monastery. I’m probably going to find a lot of strange and out of place things when I reach down into my own mind and I have to remember to take everything lightly, like I just keep finding more rice in my socks.

I’ll give full updates of the journey after I’m done scraping the rice off my feet.

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2 thoughts on “Rice in My Socks

  1. I’m reading a book called Awakening The Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das. There is a poem that reminds me of your journey to the temple.

    How joyful to look upon the Awakened and to keep company with the wise.

    Follow then the shining ones,
    the wise, the awakened, the loving,
    for they know how to work and forbear.

    But if you cannot find
    friend or master to go with you,
    travel on alone –
    like a king who has given away his kingdom,
    like an elephant in the forest.
    – from the Dhammapada

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