I HAVE A FRIEND WHO WROTE HER PhD DISSERTATION ON “HOARDING” in literature. Apparently, there are characters in literary fiction—and the real world—who have a problem collecting things, but more specifically, tossing stuff away. I may be one of them. Continue reading
Even for the Balinese, preparing the rice paddy–something that happens most days somewhere on the island–holds an extra-ordinary sense of the ordinary becoming more than ordinary, something close to spiritual.
YOU EVER HAVE A DAY BEGIN WITH DISASTER, roller coaster up and down, then end with a blessing? The day I rode my motorbike to Tampak Siring was rather like that.
LAST DAYS IN PARADISE: PART IV
I’M WONDERING IF THAT GROWLING NOISE is Made S’s stomach or mine. It’s been a number of hours since we last pillaged a well-hung banana plant, or were offered a chunk of a stranger’s coconut. Continue reading
PART III: LAST DAYS IN PARADISE
MY DRIVER, MADE S, AND I DEPART THE SACRED TEMPLES ON LAKE BRATAN and head north towards Singaraja and the secret waterfalls. It’s lunchtime, so before leaving the lake, we pull into a restaurant, obviously serving day tripping tourists—clean, well appointed, sterile, no locals. I’m not a big eater. In my mind, the healthiest diet is the diet of countries who have only one Starbucks and no KFC’s in their cities, what I call The Eat Like A Bird Diet—to simply under eat, eat anything you want to eat, just stop eating before you’re full. Continue reading
PART II: LAST DAYS IN PARADISE
Morning offerings at the altar
THIS IS WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT SERENDIPITY. Don’t you just hate when life plays its little tricks on you. And you not only have to adjust and deal with them, you may also need to make changes. Or die. When it happens in paradise, it can be either more annoying, or less. If it ruins your plans, it becomes a supreme bother. If it simply means making minor adjustments to your chill-factor schedule, it’s not so bad, just another day in paradise spent avoiding furniture with obnoxious hibiscus prints and learning new words, like “cloaca.” Continue reading
PART ONE: BENEATH YOUR FEET IN BALI
Quote that inspires me: “The bones of yesterday decay in my mind and create the aroma of everything sacred.”—Anonymous Continue reading
IF I WEREN’T SO MACHO, I MIGHT FEEL like shedding tears. Not because of what has happened to me, but because I’m such a wuss compared to some. Like, two bloggers I’m following—young women whose husbands both died recently, and these women are blogging their hearts out, slogging away into their futures with grace and panache, even humor.
ZEBRA DOVES OF BALI MATE FOR LIFE. Two of them are building a nest under the roof of my neighbor’s house. One dove carries a bamboo twig, the other stands watch. The house I’m renting sits in a rice field in Penestanan, a village near Ubud. That is, it used to be a rice field. Ten years ago, it was a rice field. Today, the land slopes downhill in terraced, level plots, but instead of rice growing in paddies, houses now grace the land, like so many wallowing pot-bellied pigs. Decades ago when the first few homes were built, it was simply a marvelously pleasant and heavenly idea: a home with a view of the vast rice fields all the way to the ravine where the jungle thrives along the river. Continue reading