If you like reading about my Balinese family, send a donation by clicking the button to the right. $20 gets me internet for a month, any more helps me secure the basic cost of living: $60 monthly food and coffee, a room in the family complex, $10-$20 rides for odd errands into town. I'm feeling the negative replies from schools here. I have a few local projects cooking, but it'll take time to build social networks to support them.
Here's the first of a series of Sanggar Teripittaka recordings available for download with your donation: Kebyar Duduk. I can also mail a CD to you. Donations for recordings all go to the sanggar, not to me. The audio is field quality, but possible to transcribe for teaching purposes. It's from a 6-month temple ceremony at Wanagiri. Outside the temple walls, food and toy vendors lined the alley, making good business of the holiday traffic. Boys flashed their new toy helicopters and cars inside the temple. Periodically a train of priests and helpers would tour the shrines in the outer temple, placing incense, waving mirrored bowls, and throwing holy water.
Photo credit: Daniel La Maire
Sitting with the gong there, I caught myself again imagining a yet-incomprehensible anthropological complex in motion around me, incomprehensible at this point because of cultural and linguistic differences, but perhaps years from now soluable. If I'm unaware of the complex, does it cease to exist? Can I render it insignificant through sheer willpower? And through will, can I create a reality in which I am powerful and untroubled, always immersed in the ecstasy of Rumi?
I recalled, while recording gerantang at an empty hotel restaurant still earlier, Rumi's poem about serving wine. One mustn't taste this wine we serve, he wrote, while still intoxicated from one's previous drink. To enjoy life's present to the utmost, we must wait until we're over the impact of some prior moment. Worry, regret, crankiness spoil the magic of living. To live this way, and still function in producing good work, surviving, and caring for those one loves, has long been my challenge.
On to the year of the dragon. May it be powerful yet just.