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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

The Colors of the Prayer Flag

Describing any wonderful experience is hard, especially one that contains so many separate and distinct memories. I struggled to begin sharing the details accurately through the conventional ways of description so instead I thought I might present a piece of writing I composed during my stay at the Namo Buddha Monastery. It’s a poetic piece that unites the fragmented thoughts that arise when I recall my time in Namo. The structure is loosely inspired by the iconic buddhist prayer flag with which I use the colors of the flag as vessels for my memories. I wish I could provide a more wholistic summary of the first two weeks in an entertaining and straightforward way, but unfortunately there is too much to cover so the in-detail explanation will have to come after the course.


9/30/17 Red is for the bricks that climb the walls of the monastery, snaking with a golden tail towards the soft clouds above. Red is for the feeling of significance and sacredness and holiness. Red is for the atoms laced around my wrist that follow me into the depths of exploration because I’ve given them a meaning and realized their function. Red is for the blood that pumps, rushes, and drives through my brain, offering existence to my consciousness, my body, and the ethereal petals that sit back and watch the day go by mindlessly.

Blue is the breath of the wind. May it be unending and pure, always. Blue resembles the color of the sky, bleeding by the many wounds of the sharp Himalayan peaks. Blue is the glimpse of a faraway glacier, the excited smile that will follow, and the glimmer of the eye in awe. Blue is the early morning chocolate delight, served on a silver spoon, and afternoon biscuits you will only find in the midst of a cacophony of colors and sounds.

White, naturally, is fading out into oblivion. Impermanence: the prayer flag will sway in the wind until the loose strands that make up the prayers give out and float on in the breeze.

Green is life and death and everything in between. Green stands for the silent pedestrian that appreciates the moment, the dedicated student who needs no words to begin his lesson and above all refuses to stick out his legs despite the pain. Green is the individual who leaves the the lesson ready for the afternoon Puja. Rare but not impossible. It is the individual that makes the whole. Not a follower but a companion to those on the path towards spiritual fulfillment. Green will be in my memories and the future adventures I will walk into, gladly.

Yellow is the bittersweet nostalgia of home, friends, adventures and stories, high-school, and oh so sweet Saturday mornings of waking up in your own bed but in your parents home. Yellow is realizing that mindfullness will send you stumbling back into the joy of the moment as well as knock you back down when it hits you that you’ve spent the last of your days in the wonderful cooped up nest of home. That the voice in your head that tells you to “Get up! Go outside and start your day!” will no longer be that of your fathers but instead that of an 18 year old boy. Yellow is the time spent realizing again and again and again that your heading to college soon or that your in freakin Nepal or that “wow, highschools over”.


photo is unrelated but nonetheless a good memory of my time in Namo.