i just met Richard, who owns the Bali Mountain Retreat. he moved from Holland to Australia at a young age. he said that he doesn’t necessarily affiliate with the latter country because of its politics and because it never felt like home. i guess no matter how long one lives in a place, sometimes it just never becomes home. and then there are other places that become home in an instant. Richard has been in Bali for the past 8 years, and he basically started the life that i have been dreaming of since starting this leg of the trip.
on one of our exhilarating moto rides, i had mentioned to Toshi that i felt like it would somehow be possible to buy land out here. i don’t know quite how i would do that, but i started to dream about getting my Dad out here and building a retreat center (like i had suggested we do in his backyard when i went to visit last Easter).
then last night, Karen mentioned it as well. what if everyone from Wind-Up Bird Company chipped in $5000? we started to muse a bit. what could that get us? could we start some crazy Japanese-American-Balinese artist commune set against the backdrop of the mountains and the sea?
again i will mention that i don’t know how this is possible, but i am inspired by what Richard has created here. it makes me feel like there is a reason why i ended up here.
there are two Balinese children playing and laughing below me as i am perched in an elevated area called “Bird’s Nest Viewpoint.” i can’t really wrap my head around the fact that it is named that, considering just hours ago, i set out to rediscover my Birdness. and just two days ago i received an enthusiastic email from my professor about the class that i had created centered around the Viewpoints training. the interconnectedness of things really makes me laugh sometimes. and i hear the children below laughing and playing—they are just so joyous. i am thinking about how magical it must be to grow up here. they are eating an entire bunch of very small bananas that it looks like they picked right off some tree and they are collecting flowers and putting them in their hair. a boy and a girl running down the path together, smacking each others’ butts, and telling secrets as they run off down the path into the wilderness.
and then i think about how lucky i was growing up. true, it was New Jersey and not Bali, but i truly feel that there are few places in the Western world that are as similar to Bali in beauty and energy.
Richard and i chatted earlier. i had some tea and he ate some kind of triangle-shaped, peanut butter-filled hot pocket.
we talked about home. (i swear he started it.) i asked him where he was from. after making me guess, he admitted Australia (second guess!), although originally from Holland. his non-affiliation with Australia led to a whole conversation about ethnicity and nationality and how one can feel where home is even when removed from it. when you go there, you just know that it is home.
i told him my controversial theory about how i deeply feel that my mother is half Japanese and half Korean. she was born in Osaka to a mother known to have had a previous husband (so why not a Japanese lover?) then many years later, my mom’s family moved back to Seoul. Sumi looks part Japanese to me, despite her insistence that she is Korean. and i feel part Japanese, so unless i am just delusional, i will just believe what i feel. her paperwork was lost in the Korean War or something anyway, so her proof is just as valid as mine. and only last Easter, she all but admitted the possibility of this truth.
Richard tells me that i’ll know when i go to Japan. i am excited because i am being called there and i believe it is quite possibly the next step in my adventures in Asia. perhaps that is what this is all about. am i on a perpetual quest to find home???
as i sit in the Bird’s Nest, the two Balinese munchkins have popped up here—i think they are racing each other on the steep and narrow staircase leading up to the Nest. we have now said “hello.” i have a feeling that we will play later.
it’s strange because a few days ago, i journaled about feeling at home here in Bali…which brings up a question: do we create various homes in our lifetimes regardless of whether or not we have an actual connection? or do we, in fact, find our homes–the places where we have a spiritual connection, one that arises from a lineage into our beings, either through our ancestry or if we can suspend our disbelief, our past lives? i mean, if we believe that we are all connected, that we are all made up of the same stardust, that we are all one…then don’t we belong everywhere? and if so, then why do certain places call to us more than others?
it’s starting to get chilly up here in the Bird’s Nest. i put on my purple shirt that i brought up here with me. it matches the rest of the nest. i am at home here. sometimes we choose where home is and sometimes it just seems to find us…