Today’s topic is…the close-up or the long shot. Which is more important – the captured image in the tight shot or the memory of the big picture. Let’s explore.

With the pristinely painted lips of a child’s porcelain doll, the reclining Buddha is all about serenity as it issues the smile of a pleasurable dream. Gracefully arched eyebrows, and a smooth even line hugging the edge of the eyelids, suggest that a make-up artist has readied the face of the statue for a close-up.


A change in our viewing position and we see one hand gently supporting the head while the other relaxes on the soft curve of the hip. The simple diagonal lines of the garment add fluidity and stretch out the torso. It is not until we take in the full view that we recognize the massiveness of the body in repose. This gentile statue, bedecked in gold, is 54 feet long. In comparison, her toes would hang off the end of a flatbed truck.

Although the reclining Buddha is the largest single statue in the venue, it is certainly not alone. The other 89 statues, which celebrate the life of Siddhartha, are spread throughout the grounds of the Cambodian Buddhist Temple (Wat Dhammararam) located in Stockton, California.


After circling the statue vignettes near the reclining Buddha, my eye is drawn to a row of statues sitting atop bejeweled bases that serve as thrones-in-line for a ceremonial occasion. Anchored by a painted mosaic carpet of blue, even the back of the procession is finely adorned. My companion today on “Places Unknown: Adventure #2, 2018” is 6’4”. Imagine their size.




See for yourself at the annual Cambodian New Year Celebration, April 14-16, 2018


And, in answer to the question posed… the close-up or the long shot? Although I suspect the serene demeanor of the reclining Buddha may send me quickly off to dreamland tonight, today’s close-up doesn’t compare to the big picture memory.