P R E L U D E
Every second of the Emory visit of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was accounted for and unalterable. It was, therefore, right on time that the temporal and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people began to make his way out of the Michael C. Carlos Museum after a brief gallery tour. A bevy of dark-suited U.S. State Department agents, anonymous officials, and others with clipboards, cell phones, and walkie-talkies bustled His Holiness off the elevator on the plaza level and toward the museum's back entrance, their eyes fixed on the line of black Lincoln Town Cars just outside.
Much to the consternation of the entourage, however, as doors swung open ahead of him and car engines idled, His Holiness paused to examine the art on the walls. He peered at a reproduction of an ornate obelisk from Assyria and at a stone copy of a grave stele from the Acropolis. Then he stopped altogether to examine a replica of the Rosetta Stone. With quiet but firm insistence, this monk, in his robes and Rockports, put the demands of itineraries and the intrusions of cell phones aside for a moment. After studying the replica for a full thirty seconds--a considerable span in the schedule of the Dalai Lama--he finally asked a State Department agent standing in nervous anticipation to tell him what it was. The agent explained that the ancient Egyptian stone bore inscriptions that enabled scholars to decipher hieroglyphics. A flash of understanding illuminated His Holiness' face. The Dalai Lama had learned something new.
The entourage resumed its frenetic pace, and out the door they swept. Seconds later, the motorcade had wound its way down South Kilgo Circle and vanished.--A.O.A.
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