I don’t lead a very exciting life. There’s really no way around that. This fact is the reason I try so hard, desperately at times, to find any nugget of inspiration I can find in what I believe most would call the mundane. But sometimes, I’m overwhelmed by an abundance of things that could each change my core on their and leave me a quivering mess of a human if taken as a whole. This phenomenon often has the effect of making me retreat inward to the safety of my own perceptions of myself, just to see if they’ve changed in a new setting.
What follows is a collection of journal entries I wrote while on vacation in Bali. These were written often in alternating states of dread and euphoria and with varying influences of caffeine and alcohol. They are stream of conscious missives of a man lost in himself while being so incredibly certain of where he was on a map.
I’ve pretended to be a lot of things in my time, but the one I’ve discovered to be the easiest is confident. The entire lead up to my flight I told everyone that I wasn’t afraid or nervous at all. Then as the plane began to descend into Bali, I felt fear.
It suddenly dawned on me that it was very possible that I would let the whole trip pass me by. I would languish away in a bubble and never reach out to actually expand my world. That I would go home with stories of a plane, a hotel, a couple streets.
I suppose it’s still possible, but the tattoo on my arm is a contract to myself. I’ve proven my willingness to give blood and be permanently changed. It’s now on this island to fulfill it’s end.
Today I discovered my place in the universe. I have long suspected that I was a fleck of dust and today it was confirmed. It did not come from the enormity of the ocean, or in the midst of a cacophonous crowd. The revelation came to me in a personal moment, a kiss, a farewell wave, a slow walk back to a hotel room.
I will always remember this night, I;l relive it over and over. Little things will remind me of the time spent and I will once again be in this humid night. The smell of incense, flowers I cant name, the hint of death from the ocean depths, and the sweat from her neck.
These moments are prepared to haunt me and I will welcome them every time, yet when my time comes they’ll be lost forever. No documentation will properly preserve them and like yesterday’s sun, they’ll be gone.
That is my place in the universe: a minuscule place holder that will someday be voided completely and I find myself deeply comforted.
As day three of my trip dawns I feel as if I have betrayed myself in a small yet fatal way. In a matter of hours that would otherwise not be noteworthy I have fallen into a routine.
This will be the second time I’ve eaten breakfast in the same place, I’ve been to the same bar twice now for midday Bintang, and I’ve eaten a dinner that I could have had back home.
I will give myself some credit as I have filled the time in between with exploring although in walking distance of my hotel. I’ve allowed myself to have a pure night with a beautiful woman knowing that I will most likely never see her again.
If my trip were to end here, I’d be satisfied, but seeing as I still have two days left, I’m worried that I will not add enough to honor them.
Something odd happened this morning. I woke up and forgot I was on vacation. I had forgotten that I was not at home. Somehow I had convinced myself that the way I’ve been living the last few days wasn’t an anomaly, that this was simply how things are for me.
For just a brief moment I had ended my toil. I had conquered the struggles and endeavors back home and this was my reward and not just a reprieve. It was a beautiful few moments.
I think this is what I’ve always striven for. I never wanted glory or fame. Even fortune takes a second place to peace, beauty, and freedom. Three things Bali has in spades, for me at least. I’m not foolish enough to believe that the way I’ve been spent my days is typical for most. Yet I’m okay with that. I’ll allow myself to be arrogant, for my fantasies.
How to describe yesterday? I suppose the best single word would be disaster. Except it’s hard to think of things going wrong in paradise. Unfortunate, perhaps, that seems like a better word.
In fact, as I look back on it all and take each moment as a singular occurrence, and then take into account the things that happened in between it becomes difficult to be upset at all.
I’ve found myself forgetting that I’m still living life these last few days. Everything has been so different from my usual existence that at times I can’t help but think of this as a detour, a week where I have removed myself from the universe and have placed myself somewhere separate, somewhere created by my cognition and it’s the few bits of self-loathing within that have punctured perfection, yet I now know how powerful these parts of my mind are, and I am no longer bothered.
So this is it, my last few hours in Bali. I had believed that I would somehow welcome this moment. That homesickness would’ve crept in and I would be satisfied. But plainly spoken, I’m not ready to go.
This morning I stepped outside and looked up at my favorite spot. A small gap between a lattice work of electrical wires and thick waxy leaves of a tree I don’t know of. I didn’t see anything in particular and I’m not sure why I’ve been so enticed by the view this whole time. But, it was hard to think it would be the last time I saw it. Even if I came back I doubt I’d get the angle just right.
Maybe I just had to add a little sadness to success. I’ve explored, I’ve learned, I’ve experienced and for a brief night I think I may have loved.
Thank you Bali.
and since I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea about Bali, it truly is a beautiful place, filled with amazing people. Here’s some nice pictures I took.