Francois, spirit of the art gallery

There are spirits in the paddy field.

“No, I’m no artist,” said Francois, in answer to my question. He directed us towards the bathroom, or to the cafe, whichever he felt we needed more urgently. “See, there is art everywhere. See here,” he said, pointing at Garuda carved into the cabana. I was sitting in it now, waving away mosquitoes. The sun was setting over the rice field.

“To create is to show gratitude to the gods, who are with us always.” He laughed and flicked away the ash from his clove cigarette.

“No,” he said, “I’m no artist. But I believe.”


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