Saturday, February 20, 2021

KEMBALI KE BALI (Part One of a 4-part pictorial essay)

In Bali you'll always find a majestic old tree beside every temple.
This magnificent green sanctuary that had shaped itself into a perfect archway
was spotted on my way to Ubud, just outside Batubulan 
(what a romantic name, Moonstone!)

On both sides of the road leading to Ubud you'll find the finest artisans in Asia,
a rich legacy of the Majapahit Empire which produced stonemasons 
comparable to those that built Angkor Wat, Khajuraho, and Tiahuanaco

A colossal statue, presumably of Rama, greets every visitor to Ubud

Painters, painters everywhere in Ubud; modern as well as traditional

Mask-makers too!

Member of the Balinese Royal Household at the Royal Temple in Ubud

Right: Ceremonial cow presides over ritual cremation of Balinese royalty.

Left: Five minutes outside the bustling tourist hub that Ubud has become, soothing sounds of running water and ducks romping in lush paddy-fields.

Women in Bentuyong, near Ubud, so alike the Orang Asli among whom I live

Hokkien chef in Ubud with two of his Balinese angel waitresses

Daily offerings to the Unseen Beings are an integral part of Balinese culture

I returned in 2007 to the magickal Island of Bali after an absence of 26 years (and for the third time in October 2010 for the Ninth Gate Activation of the 11:11 Doorway but that was an entirely different experience). 

In 2007 it was for only five days. But in 1981 I was there for all of five weeks, and each day was a Technicolor dream overflowing with adventure, romance, and delicious sensations. I'm gathering my thoughts and feelings so I can write in greater detail about the delicious invigoration and inspiration I felt. Meanwhile, I'll share some photos I took with my humble digital camera - a Sony Cybershot I bought in New York City in August 2004 and which has served me well for so many years.

[Originally posted 12 September 2007. Reposted 16 April 2014 & 20 June 2020]