‘Hear am I, there you are.
Follow the dancing girl,
vision and embrace.
Such an entrancing girl,
she moves with such rhythm and grace.
Who can she be?’
Lyrics by Terry Callier
Doing some window shopping, dreaming of what I maybe able to fill my new home with in this beautiful, crazy country I was struck by an image of a dancing girl.
‘Do you know who took the photograph?’ I asked the warm, kind eyed young woman working in the gallery.
‘No, I am sorry,’ said she, ‘It is very old picture, she died.’
‘Oh, she is so beautiful’ says I.
‘She was my sister, we have same mother and same father,’ says the girl, ‘but Pol Pot he broke her fingers and then she died’.
She took me back to the photograph and pointed to the girls highest raised hand. You can see the breaks.
But still she danced, gracefully, proudly, captured on film for us to see, forever young, forever beautiful, forever dancing…
‘She would of been my big sister.’ the gentle woman told me. ‘You nice lady, you smile, you listen. Make friends is good.’
PS. And this is why my plans have changed. Because of brave young people like Chek Khoem who share stories about the dead who wanted to just simply dance. Because of them I am setting up home for a while in this stunning, shocking, wonderful, overwhelming, healing country. The Cambodian Chapter may have to turn into the Cambodian book…