Friday, February 12, 2010
one month in paradise
One month in Paradise. The newcomer’s eyes and ears have faded. Vowels have popped into focus, formerly hidden in the collection of consonants that seemed to be the Bahasa language. The sounds are now familiar, although the meanings, we are ashamed to say, can still only be guessed. We will be starting lessons next week.
It is harvesting time and the smoke from burning the stalks that remain after threshing the rice, drifts into our open living room in the afternoon. The little makeshift tents at the side of the roads house the Javanese who are here to do the work. The rice husks are laid out on plastic sheets on the road and if no room is left to manoeuver, our driver will drive over them. I love the ‘scarecrows’; lines drawn across the paddies with bits of plastic tied to them, varying in size and color, flapping in the wind.
Katut 2, our driver, honks two brief pips, every time he passes a sacred Banyan tree in front of a cemetery: to warn the sprits in the tree, should they be thinking of crossing the road. We are glad to have found out demons only move in straight lines and cannot turn corners.
My husband and I have proven we are remarkably good at doing nothing much. In January we found partners in crime with an Australian accent and what started out as morning coffee and heated discussions often developed into late lunch and undoubtedly ended in rushing to pick up the children.
Since the beginning of the month we have moved into our rock star villa on the coast and have joined the carpool in the village, which involves coordinating the drivers to take and pick up the six kids. We have been keeping up a busy schedule of yoga, swimming, massage, reading and involuntarily smiling resulting from the bearable lightness of being here.
Rosie unfortunately looks like she has chicken pox with the bug bites covering her arms and legs. They just seem to get her wherever she goes. For some reason she talks about death a lot, asking people if they have seen a person die. On the bright side, Rosie has learnt to swim in three weeks; water spouting through a curtain of hair, pink goggles and furious paddling. Before every meal she makes us sing a song, which thanks Mother Earth and Father Sun, and all the plants in the garden where the mother and father are one. She is not completely settled and misses her friends, but it could be worse with a 17 meter infinity pool in her garden.
Jip is still having a great time with his new friends, with only the occasional relapse, and likes the fact they sing songs at school to help him subtract. He will be starting guitar lessons next week. We hope the musical genes have sidestepped a generation.
Yoga: we are doing a lot of it. In fact we have just spent two intense and painful days with "yoga is political activism" Yivamukti founders David Life and Sharon Gannon, who told us with wagging fingers that doing yoga while you still eat meat is like driving a car with your brakes on. I haven't eaten meat in four days. I do not like friction.
We roll our eyes a little at the spiritual journey travelers drawn to Bali, comparing their latest treatments in the health food cafés, but you can bet your favorite dress we will be trying everything they are trying while we are here:
Detox cleansing week with garden hose and supplements? Check.
Aryurvedic healer with lymphatic drainage massage? Check.
Spirulina in our drinks? Check.
Massage from God? Check.