|Loy Krathong during calmer times in Bangkok|
Nothing's improved in and around Bangkok since the October 27th post (Water, Water Everywhere...) - in fact, the disaster has continued to escalate and spread, become more and more of a jumbled mess by the day as millions attempt to do anything within their power to try to hold back the millions of gallons of water steadily seeking its own level as it flows to the Gulf of Thailand.
|Young lovers and their krathong|
For those of you interested in learning the thought and traditions of the festival in more detail, feel free to click either of the two Loy Krathong links above - either will take you to last year's post that explains it all, and today's post will be little more meaningful for you. Go ahead... I'll wait.
Not going for that? Geeez, people are in such a rush these days. OK, here's the short version: during the full moon of the twelfth lunar month each year (usually in mid-November) the Thai set small floating offerings out onto a river or waterway with candles, flowers and incense to thank Phra Mae Khonka (the Mother of Water) for the blessings the waters have brought them - such as a good harvest - and to make amends for their pollution and abuse of those same life-giving waters.
|Picking out a krathong for the festival. Millions are used each year.|
A friend emailed me with a valid thought, though: even though both of his homes are flooded (his work home in the city and his family home in another city) and getting where he needs to be is becoming a nightmare he's still going to find some way of making his offering this year.
"I don't know as I've done anything to upset her myself," he said of Phra Mae Khonka, "but if ever there was a time to ask for her help, it's now." I had to tip my hat to him: his world is in chaos on several levels, and he's still sticking with what he feels is right. I told him "You know, it couldn't hurt, and it just might help. Good for you."
Phra Mae Khonka: for what it's worth, I'm asking a favor I probably have no right to ask: pass as peacefully as you can as you flow to the ocean, and give these people a break.
|Repeating an image from a year ago, but it's one that triggers a special memory for me.|