driving through the city of Tabanan, i closed the window. there is not good air here. it feels different on my face. this Lobsterbird is becoming so sensitive to these subtle shifts.

< ooh, i meant to put on my Salonpas (which is becoming a sort of travel ritual), and forgot in the hubbub of leaving the Villa. but i just saw a sign (a literal sign in front of a shop) that i should still do it now. >

ahhhhhh, sweet menthol relief.

thank the gods for signs or how else would we be able to navigate through life?

i love being in this van right now! is that weird??? i just love being able to see what i am seeing in quiet contemplation and being able to write unabashedly, in a free style, about whatever i damn well please.

and now we are actually headed into the mountains on a windy mountain dirt road.

i realize that i was resistant to coming up to the mountains. the Lobster part of me that is becoming highly developed wanted to stay by the beach and thought surely some plan would arise to keep me there. but even surfing in Lombok with Stephen, Paul, and Laura (while absolutely enticing and hard to not glom onto), didn’t feel like the right move.

so to karmically make up for not “yes, anding” Tim when he asked if i needed him to wait at the Royal Hotel @ Queens Street in Singapore (when they screwed up our reservations and told us we had an extra night and then moved all my stuff out without telling me after they realized that they had messed up), i decided to “yes, and” his encouragement to go on Bali Mountain Retreat.

in doing so, i think this Bird is starting to take flight.

< i just passed a temple with gigantic statues of a moustache all over it. most definitely a sign that i am headed down the right path! >

i am now surrounded by everything green. in the distance, i see the mountains through the clouds. i am going there!

and i remember how i grew up. in South Jersey, i was born in this beautiful place. my Grandparents’ house on Long Beach Island is one of the most beautiful places that i have ever been to on this planet. we spent our childhoods playing in the sand, wading in the gentle ripples on the Bay, later to ride the energetic ocean waves, and coming of age working in seashore pizza joints, restaurants, and on the beach itself—learning to fend for myself both financially and being one with the elements of nature.

but five minutes away is where my father decided to build our home. moving just over the bridge from his parents’ house, he chose Cedar Run—a quiet woodsy area with 2 ½ acres of forest surrounding our humble abode. he built our peaceful life here surrounded by nature, bringing my mother over from Korea and raising my sister and i close to nature in this duality of forms.

sometimes i forget how much i loved playing in the woods growing up. i used to pretend it was bordering a magical land like in Bridge to Terabithia, where crossing over the creek down the Creepy Road would transport me to a place where i could just be my self and encounter fantastical creatures and go on wild adventures.

< we just passed over a creek and i can’t help but wonder if Mother Nature, much like man, posts signs for us to help guide us along the way… >

as the road we travel grows more windy and bumpy, treacherous to maintain my focus, steadiness, and control of my bladder, i remember my great fear of the wild as well.

< and with that thought, i was about to ask Wayan how much time until we arrive at the Mountain…and here we are. it is beautiful already and i’ve barely just entered through the gates… >

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