Wednesday, January 16, 2008
A 48-hour day, Mirror Reflection
Aloha from Honolulu (although this picture is in Guam)—where we gain a day--two Ides of January-as we re-group on Waikiki Beach for 12 hours. The most bizarre part of our 3-day journey home is the 24 hr. visit to the US territory of Guam where it was literally visiting America for a day—instant English speaking people, drinking water, cable TV, US dollars, driving with the wheel on the left side. It is a sizeable US Navy and Air Force base, so the “Support Our Troops” sentiment reigns. The water is a beautiful turquoise and we snorkeled and said hello to some tropical fish while making our way out to a small island. The hermetically sealed resort beach was clean and pristine—unlike the Bali beaches, which have a lot of residue and garbage from the rainy season (and the cyclone from Australia). Arriving in Nagoya, Japan we were back in a foreign land—and loved it. We rocked the airport, which was modern and clean, and had shops, good food and the most excellent soft serve green tea ice-cream…
One thing most people who have spent any time in Bali will tell you is that the island has a sacred way (even if you’re not spiritual) of reflecting back to you exactly what you put out or think. I would venture to say Bali is the dwelling place of the cosmic mirror, which is why it is an intense place for many, and why people have a need for repeat visits or decide live there.
“This is the end of an era”, Carrie said as we walked out to a waiting Widodo (our driver) ready to whisk us off to the airport. We had become such fixtures in Carrie’s home, and to her community at large. The new friends, drivers and helpers that became ours—the newly pregnant Kombantu (house helper), Putu, Cheryl’s tailor, Rai Pasti in Ubud, and for me, I was teary-eyed saying so long to both the owner of the motor bike (23 yr. old Ketut—good kid) and the rental shop owner (Wayan of “Rudy’s Rental Bikes”)—What started as an adversarial who-done-it thorn-in-my-side of my holiday, transformed into friendship and trust, and ultimately an opportunity to dig my heels in deeper into an understanding of how the Balinese, the system and the people, work. I will miss these faces woven into the tapestry of this island tour.
Ah, time. There were days when I thought our time in Bali would never end. We had the luxury of time. Time was on our side. Time for sunset, time for yoga, and now, time to go back to the US. One thing I definitely carry away is another relationship with time, and I’m taking my time with developing it. Much gained, so much. I’ll be processing the pearls that were chucked open in these wisdom oysters over the next weeks. Cheryl and I have said: “ If we knew then, what we know now…” a bunch. Of course, you must go through the experience to have one.
And for now I “Begin Every Day as if it’s on Purpose” just stealing a line Will Smith says from our in-flight movie, “Hitch”.