Tuesday, May 11, 2010


A curious byproduct of daily sunshine, the sweltering heat, the breeze on the beach, the Indian Ocean in your own front yard is the inclination to just kick back and do nothing. You are lulled to a stupor, a state of aimless gazing, lost in wandering patterns of thought as if you had laid dreamily back into the core of a kaleidoscope.

You ride your motorbike down to the beach front cafe, lugging your laptop along. You take your usual seat at your usual table and the man brings your usual coffee, and by the time you open the laptop and take the first sip of coffee you find yourself well within the grasp of peaceful indolence. The big plans you brought with you have trickled out somewhere along the road and so you jot down isolated thoughts in your blog, those things that buzz lazily about, lighting on your hands and feet, easily caught for their own torpor.

What did I mean to do? What I did mean to say?

A white woman of German heritage sits at a table nearby. You look at her through your sunglasses, she looks at you through hers. You may be really looking, you may not be. Who can prove it? It is something that is left to the imagination, just like the work you meant to do, the novel you meant to write.

Maybe you will write a poem instead. A poem about a German woman in sunglasses, quite unable to hide the brazen gaze--desire, mystery, romance. A myth in the making.

In what is mythic we find our sum. Here is the desire after all--living without being touched or disturbed, the sand, the sea, the breeze, the breakers, the man, the woman, the midday sun. The myth engulfs. We are tasted and swallowed, and human willpower is the delicacy of fondest choice.

This is Bali, the island that eats, the paradise that consumes its prey.

I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee,
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
And sing while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep

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