Friday, August 20, 2010


Look at her. Hewn from  rock. Set against the mars red sky. She sends a rivulet of compassion  into the primal ooze of humanity in which she is immersed. Immobilised. Her eyes closed in the meditation required to keep an open heart. A single bloom at her breast, the sweet fragrance of hope that keeps her present to a world of pain. She is patience personified. ....BUT all that composure and eyes closed caper, sure means she misses out on a lot of ACTION !!!!!  Can't stay there forever ! Grow some arms and get down in the dirt girlfriend.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


The Fool has always been one  of those archetypes that I admire, although at first glance I guess the name is a little inglorious. Here is mine, about to step off the precipice, away from the known and into the void. She takes hold of me when things need to change. She is the one that somehow has an indefatigable trust in the universe to send just the right rope, at just the right time, to let me swing to the next piece of knowing that I need to continue on my journey. She keeps my gypsy moving, to or from or through the choice points of  my life towards the light. Her backwards glance a challenge to all who stay in places past their use-by date because of fear, or the numbness of complacency. Her voice is driving one of the main characters in the first book I hope to have finished here.


Just north of Ubud the volcano rises from the crusted ooze of it's most recent eruption. The village of Kintamani is on the neighbouring ridge, its main road lined with tarnished monoliths, the crumbling dreams of the view stealers and pushers of over priced smorgasbords dressed up in silver tureens. The town feels desolate, more third world than anywhere else I've seen on the island. Hoards of tourists packed in endless buses snake their way up to take their happy snaps of the volcano and the lake below. The hawkers here are loaded with sarongs and carvings and amongst the most persistent of any in Bali. They literally climb into the car after you when you try to leave. I was driving and had a key to the safety of  the car, but whilst recovering from their assault I neglected to open the door for my friend. Engulfed by a press of  bodies, and too bound by western politeness, compassion or first world shame to use the rudeness required to claim her personal space, she was locked outside, wondering why I had not leapt to her aid. Once I realised and let her in we both laughed, but desperation stayed begging at the window.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


5pm Thursday
"You know that shit load of gravel on Monkey Forrest Road?"
"Well that's what we're moving tomorrow."
"Mmmm, that's a lot a gravel."
"Sure is, I just hope I can get all my offerings organized before the morning, cremation time is so busy and the truck will be picking us up at 7"
" Yup, but will  I see you at the market 5?"
" Sure, see you there"
9.30am Friday
"Looks like we are the entertainment for the  brekky crowd girls, smile for the camera"
I've just slept in till 9, thrown on a few items fresh from the laundry and left the bed unmade for the pembantu.  I smell too strongly of the fragrance that they use in the rinse cycle and am glad to have it blown behind me as we scoot into town for a nosh up brekky.  The omlette has cheese which is a rarity on  my budget so I am feeling particularly spoilt. Real coffee, toast and butter, a mixed juice and sides of fried tomato and mushrooms. The next thing on my agenda is a massage. These women have
been toiling past our window all through breakfast and yet my grin is still not as wide as hers.

Parallel Universe

In the parallel world outside my bedroom window, in the world that is Bali, women walk like ants across the rice field with baskets of bricks balanced their heads. A new Villa is about to claim another section of the sawah. The farmer in his pointy hat shouts across the morning to his neighbour, words indecipherable to my foreign ears and brown bodies, sinews and leather stand in mud, bend backs in early light and send plumes of clove scented cigarette towards the volcano peering through its cloudy wrap.

If they look in across the broken glass embedded in the wall that separates us they see me. Propped on pillows with my laptop, way past the hour that they would ever stay in bed, writing. The ceiling fan is blowing its helicopter hurricane, prayer flags flap across my mirror and fresh brewed coffee sits beside me as I wonder, wonder what they think of bule in their bungalow peninsula protruding through the field. Which of their cousins, now idle as our rent releases them from their muddy drudgery, are cursed? What envy, rampant in the national psyche, oozes through the paddy to press it's face upon my window pane? Or do they really care?