Plate 10, 27x18
These three monks represent a vastly different world. They chatted warmly with my Sherpa before I took this portrait, and they asked to be allowed to tell my future and my fortune. This might well have been a way to say thank you, although they did not ask for a copy of their picture, perhaps feeling that it would be too much of an imposition. From the whole endeavor, I sensed a keen feeling of both gratitude and sensitivity. Having allowed time for their fortune telling, they chatted again with my Sherpa then retreated into the structure and closed the door. Again, they reappeared and asked once again for permission to tell my fortune, seemingly less than satisfied with the first result. This was done, and a little while later, the same scene occurred and the same request to be allowed a third prediction. Upon their third return, they were buoyant, smiling and most animated, for the gods, it seemed, had given them their wished-for prognostication. Their third reappearance on the porch of the house, they were more jubilant and gleefully conveyed to my Sherpa that I was safe, to be healthy and secure on a very, very long path and that this time they were sure that things were right. We all rejoiced. I was delighted. Though I do not have much faith in predictions, this seemed as a series of three acts of warmth, of love and of affection for a far distant traveler.