Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Surf's Up!

For the boy and all those waiting to meet and ride their own wave. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Life By The Sea Temple

Though Tanah Lot Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu sites in the island of Bali, it is also quite the tourist spot. The temple sits on a large formation on the coast of Tabanan. It is one of the seven sea temples around the Balinese coast and is by far, the most photographed. Legend has it that the temple is surrounded by poisonous sea snakes to guard it from evil spirits and intruders.

I really don't have a good photograph of the temple itself. Perhaps because of it's many tourists that mar the setting. I, being one of them.

Against a stunning backdrop and obvious commercialism, there is however, pockets of magic. Nearby, locals, young and old alike, traipse through the coast during low tide to gather seaweed -- for the dinner table, perhaps, or as a commodity to trade in the market. Shallow pools are everywhere for you to dip your feet in, play with the tiny fish, or try your hand in in seaweed harvesting.

It's an entirely separate world from tourists, yet it exists alongside it.

One of the temple's guardians having a nap.

The entrance to the temple itself is guarded since non-Hindus cannot enter. 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Early Morning Walk

It was pretty early out and I decided to walk around this village a few miles shy of Mt. Merapi, Indonesia's most active volcano. I was going uphill and this elderly woman was walking down, presumably to make her way to the town market. I saw her already when I looked up and she was walking the steep slope down. I thought she looked quite regal as the early morning sun cast a soft glow on her face. She ambled down in a faded yet still beautiful green floral dress which I imagined shesewed herself when she was younger. We both smiled and called out "Selamat Pagi!" She, on her way down. I, on my way up.

As I turned around to watch her, a tiny vision of my future flashed before me. Someday, I will also be this woman. Out on a beautiful day, on the way for melons or pears or cabbages. My face will be lined with creases from years of laughter and from sorrows overcome. My gait still spry despite the years. I will return to a house, nearly topsy turvy with books and toys and the sound of my children and grandchildren playing and arguing and making up. There will always be a kettle boiling for tea.

I smiled to myself and thought that despite everything, I know I will be alright. I called out goodbye and she waved back and watched me make my way up towards the sun and trees.