The Influence of a Vietnamese Temple

What, or where, influences you?

Vietnam Viet Nam travel writing Manuscript Monday
Sometimes it takes viewing death through the lens of another culture to see the truth of our own grief and healing.

This is yesterday’s post, but we didn’t have internet, so I’ll just have to share Manuscript Monday on a Tuesday. I want to share a couple photos related to the section I’m revising now. It feels like I’ve been on the home stretch of this book forever, but hopefully all the changes I’ve made will not only meet, but exceed the expectations of this editor and agent.

Vietnam Viet Nam travel writing Manuscript Monday
What would you have at your altar? Favorites of the deceased are among the items placed on the altar, while their favorite brand of cigarette burns next to incense.

These photos are from Ky La Village, Việt Nam, at the family temple of Le Ly Hayslip, author of When Heaven and Earth Changed Places. (You might recognize the book name from the movie it was made into: Heaven & Earth, produced by Oliver Stone.) We were fortunate to be escorted by the author, who accompanied us on our charity work with her Global Village Foundation.  The conversation with her at her family temple, and about the way Vietnamese people honor their ancestors, is something that influenced my own thoughts on death and healing, and I’m excited for the way this section has shaped.

Vietnam Viet Nam travel writing Manuscript Monday
Le Ly Hayslip with her brother and sister at their family temple in Ky La, Viet Nam.

I know it’s Monday (pretend I’m saying that yesterday), and that means back to the 9-5 grind for most of my friends and family, but I hope this is a productive and stress-free work week for all of us!

Love, Marla

6 thoughts on “The Influence of a Vietnamese Temple

  1. This makes me think of how some of us tend our family graves and have a little “conversation” with those buried there. It also makes me think of those who “work” on the family tree, however intermittently. I enjoy seeing my connection with those who have gone before. I’ve been working on making pedigree and family charts for our grandchildren, especially since Ernest came along this summer to carry on the Easley name.
    Hang it there, my dear, I know it will all come together one of these days soon.

  2. “I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of being forgotten.” I put that in quotes, because I’m sure someone else said it first, but I think many of us feel this way. That is the allure of most all of the Asian cultures, the way they remember and revere their ancestors. How many graves have we all seen here in the states that haven’t obviously been visited in decades, possibly longer…it makes me very, very sad indeed.

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