travel souvenirs — part 6

hand-painted mandala (c) 2020 by David Ourisman, all rights reserved

This mandala is now framed and hanging on the wall in our home. Every time we see this intricate work of art, it reminds us of our wonderful nine-night tour of Bhutan, the Amankora Journey. Circular in design, mandalas are used in Hindu and Buddhist meditation. The artist painted, entirely in gold leaf, the words of a devotional text contained in fifteen concentric circles.

Bhutanese art is incredibly detailed. We met another artist, pictured below, who was kneeling on the floor, bent over the piece he was working on. His creation was accomplished by dropping small amounts of colored powders onto an outline, filling in his design. Literally backbreaking work, its most striking feature is the impermanence of the piece. Never intended to grace the wall of a museum or a home, the colored powders would soon scatter to the wind.

Why devote such time and care to something that will disappear in the wind? Your answer will come in the very act of contemplating that question.

intricate art design (c) 2020 by David Ourisman, all rights reserved

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copyright (c) 2020 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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