29 June 2008

Letter 2.22

Today is Sinhalese New Year and the place is very noisy with fireworks going off almost every second, and a great mass of dāyakās (their children run about the islands shouting at each other -- and the adults are no quieter: the whole affair is a yearly picnic to them, but to us it's our food).

An elderly German concert violinist named Neumann has arrived on the Island -- his sixth visit, I believe -- and intends to be ordained and still another German seeking ordination is expected to arrive within the next week or so. In the meantime the Maha Thera is having a good deal of fun being very secretive about the ordination plans -- he won't say when it will be or even who will be ordained. Maybe he's no more certain than they.

I expect to go down to Bundala sometime this month, and may (or may not) stay for the month of May. I may stay elsewhere for May. At any rate, I feel that a month away from the Hermitage will be to my benefit: a slight shift of viewpoint may bring to light things which I'm now in a position -- as a result of the last year here -- to see but can't quite make out through the particular obstructing foliage indigenous to the Island.

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