Sunday, October 2, 2016

Above the World

Yesterday, we drove up into the hills above the south Bali coast and into the rice tiers which cascade down from the high slopes. As you gain altitude, the air cools and the humidity relinquishes its hold. A stark greeness fills the world, spreading out like a plush carpet, dotted with stone dwellings which hug the edges of narrow roads. It seems the passtime of women and children to sit at the edge of their properties and watch the traffic come and go. They are simple and open and as much a part of the land as the rice and the grass and the stones. One has the impression that many of these folks have never been more than a few miles from their homes. Theirs is a world of tradition and labor and ceremony and family. The outside world is a rumor, a tale, a matter of conjecture which pales in importance compared to the life of the community, the latest gossip, the weather, the stage of the moon. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton do not exist. Iran and Afghanistan do not exist. The fields, the water, the sky, the temple, the ceremonies, the gods - these exist.

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