August 13, 2005
All around this region there are long stretches of emptiness. Green grass to the horizon, sky, low hills. You can walk for hours or days out into all that green. At first the experience is disorienting, but soon you find well worn paths heading out from somewhere to somewhere. If you walk long enough on those paths you will find small groupings of rocks stacked three or four high. These are symbolic stupas arranged by local nomads as they pass. I am often more moved by these small acts of faith than I am big temples or statues... because for me these grace notes are not just mindless devotional acts but are simutanously marks of respect and defiance, the artist's mark in the futile struggle against nature.