In the Thi’si retreat high in the mountains of Nepal the warrior monks began the final cycle of the chant they had begun 200 years before. This prayer was given to call the spirit of the great warrior Seiyan, an arhat whose enlightenment had led him beyond the strictures of space and time. On the altar kneels the Assiri: a beautiful, golden youth with dark hair and fierce eyes. Since his careful selection in childhood the best teachers have dedicated their lives to moulding him into the perfect vessel. When the cycle completes a perfect silence falls over the monastery. They gaze expectantly at the Assiri.
Liefe Wessels is sitting on her uncomfortable couch in Kuilsriver. She has never been wealthy and long years of hardship show in her lined face. This year her third child will leave home and for a moment she cheerfully contemplates her autumn years of soap operas and church fetes.
As the enlightenment of Seiyan descends upon her she sighs deeply – time to have a little talk with that violent drunk, Mr Johnson, at number 22 and then on to the central African problem. But before all the work begins she thinks to indulge a childhood fantasy. As she looks about at ancient Gaza, 2500BCE, she smiles: she had always dreamed of seeing the pyramids.