It's taken a while, but I think my head is - at last - catching up with my body. I have the headspace to begin to reflect.
Just so you know - there will be no book this time. It was a wonderful, reflective journey and I feel refreshed by it. But I steered clear of adventures. I rarely stepped off the well-trodden path. (And I have other writing plans I'll tell you about another time.)
But - what I will do is post, with pictures, about each place I stayed. And, just to kick this off, I've gathered some images of Asian gods. I visited temples, mosques and churches - and continue to muse on the commonality of people's need to explain life outside ourselves and the stories that become beliefs in the process of searching for that explanation. I make no comment on the rights and wrongs of any belief system - I simply marvel at the complexity of such systems and the rituals that go with them. Do I really need to add that I find it abhorrent that anyone should use anything defined as 'religious conviction' as an excuse for violence?
I have not included pictures of churches - most people know what to expect in those and Far Eastern churches are similar to anything you'd find in Europe.
I was made welcome in several mosques - once suitably covered I was encouraged to wander, to ask questions, and to ponder on the tenets of their faith. They were peaceful places. I have no problem with respecting their request to be sensitive regarding photographs and putting those online. And so the first image is from the outside of a huge mosque in KL.
Followed, without comment, on a succession of religious images. Some - to western eyes - look strange, or fierce, or comic. But they are all sacred to someone. And a reminder of our glorious diversity.
We all makes sense of our lives in our own way. How bland the world would be if we all told the same stories.