August 16, 2011

The Satchel of Prayer

Peeking through the window of a Pagoda in Hue, Vietnam.  © SOSKIphoto

Today we have a diptych.  That's right, two photos for the price of one!  Why are these two photos combined as one?  Because only one photo does not tell the story I am trying to convey.

To be honest, the vibrant yellow photo of the brown satchel hanging from the beautiful window on the left is the photo I would display on its own if I had to.

The yellow is vibrant and grabs your attention.  Look at me!  The white window sill is a frame within a frame.  The design of the window is interesting and maze-like.  The blue tile floor adds a base to the image.  Lastly, the hanging satchel adds the human element… the point of interest.

This photo very well could stand on its own.  But then what does the title mean?  Who left their satchel hanging?  And what is behind that awesome window?

If only photos could offer sound and smell.

Behind the yellow wall, bells were ringing, drums were pounding, monks and nuns were seated in gray robes and chanting.  They were praying.  The second image shows you exactly what I saw as I peered through the wooden window hoping not to be noticed as I fired a few frames and watched the Buddhist ritual.  The black and white treatment gives a "behind the scenes" feel providing you with a backstage pass to an active Pagoda in Hue, Vietnam.

Fun Fact:

Maybe in the color photo, you did not notice the Swastika in the center of the window.  Surely it was noticeable in the foreground of the second image. In Buddhism, the Swastika represents eternity and is called "Van" in Vietnamese.


  1. Awesome photos.

    Btw, I think the window is not wooden. It's cement painted yellow. Very typical in Vietnam.

  2. Thank you for the kind words. I saw numerous cement windows as you described but this window was definitely wood.