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Photographer's Note

This picture is special to me. Not because it is good, but because, as so rarely happens, it exactly captures a precious experience.
I visited these ruins of a Mon temple. 20 years ago the river was dammed to make the Sangkhlaburi Lake deeper, to act as a reservoir. The Mon tribal people were moved to a new area and slowly their temple sank below the water.
Recently, because of long droughts, the waters have receded and the temple has emerged again. It sits on a remote mudbank, waiting for the waters to return. To the Mon the site is still holy and they have erected a makeshift shrine in the ruins. The place is accessible only by boat. I was so impressed at the hushed, reverence, with which the boatman and Phum Mali, my guide, treated the place. In front of the altar was a slab of stone. Phum Mali, quite unselfconsciously, took of his shoes and knelt in prayer there, before making the offering of incense sticks. He is just an ordinary boy, but his deep sense of spirituality in the remote and ruined place was so touching for me. Is any of that feeling in the picture; is it just in my mind?

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Additional Photos by kevin o'sheehan (kevinos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1023 W: 173 N: 1802] (7517)
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