I wrote this post a few weeks ago in a cafe near the Monkey Sanctuary in Ubud, Bali. Due to entirely predictable and entirely silly technical difficulties, it has been postponed until now. And although my surroundings have moved continents and contexts, it feels good to come back to these words.
It's a season of taking in these days. I've read more books in the past six weeks than I have in the past two years and am taking pictures all over the place, all of the time. This morning I went to a yoga class that had 8 whole minutes of passionate chanting to connect us with the divine. I mean. It's as lovely and spirited as it sounds, as lovely as perhaps one might expect Bali to be.
I find it so comforting when my outsides match my insides– that is, when my habitat can act as a mirror and an anchor in one, providing a space for reflection and a tangible portrait of what I cannot often express at length, at what still eludes. In New Mexico, with its raw, undeveloped, and acutely lonely terrain; slow mornings in Seattle marked by grey skies, a slight drizzle, only peaks of sunlight.
And then here. Impossibly beautiful, isolated beaches and the narrow streets of inland villages, colorful and decadent Ubud, rice paddies that have Eat, Pray, Love written all over them. It's hard not to get caught up in all of the yoga and raw, organic fun, but you won't find me fighting it either.
The past few weeks and the destinations therein have been a lot of stillness, mostly. Stillness while cruising through markets on a bike, as I awoke with waves, walked an hour and a half home when the last car left without me, sat in the sand with my best friend watching a rain storm sunset. Stillness as I, for the first time in a long time, found myself bored and then proceeded to panic. Who has the right to be bored on a Balinese island? Who I ask?! We all do, it turns out.
As with any situation, it's hard to remember what I already know, which is: that I am loved exactly as is, that this too shall pass, that we are on holy ground always, that when in doubt- pay attention. I'm starting to see that good traveling, which is so many ways is a microcosm for good living, is not lived in guidebooks or famous monuments, but rather in the way the air smells at sunrise on the coast (like seaweed and bark), or in how good beer tastes when it costs 60 cents, or in being squished on a couch watching an outdoor movie with my two favorites.
It's laughably good, this life on this day, which I think is just as important in sharing as the hard. It's both of course, good mixed with difficult because this is life and that's how it is, but right now it's a cool breeze (without any air conditioning needed!) and yes, yes, yes.