MONK AT MY DOOR IN MYANMAR
When I opened the door I was surprised to see a monk standing there. He seemed just as shocked to see me. Both of us stumbled over words to say for a moment, acting as if we had inconvenienced each other.
“What’s your name?”
That’s the only thing I could think to ask at a loss for words.
He replied with something I couldn’t quite understand, still staring at me with his young, curious eyes. He must have been around 16 or 17. The same age as many of my students in Myanmar.
I asked if he was looking for someone, for something, to which he said what sounded like a name. I apologized, politely waved, bowed a bit, and closed the door slowly to see him turn around and knock on my neighbor’s door.
What a beautiful chance encounter. The simple meeting of a monk at my door, both of us out of our element, two worlds collided, in a dingy stairwell of some rundown apartment building in Yangon. Somehow, with so few words, and in the span of about a minute, I was gifted with something I can’t quite explain.
After he left, I couldn’t help but think I had made a mistake. Should I have invited him in? Was I supposed to give him something? Was it actually me he was looking for? I wish I had welcomed him into my home, and can only hope I get another opportunity to do so.