Tag Archives: Indonesia


offeringOfferings are a way of life in Bali. Every day, small coconut-leaf trays containing petals, leaves and rice are placed at busy crossroads, outside shop fronts, in shrines and homes. A walk into town becomes like a spiritual journey, each step marked by a precious feats of Mother Nature’s bounty and saturated with the perfume of incense, the holy scent that follows you from house to house. The dashboards of cars and motorbikes also enjoy these sacred blessings as a protection from the evil spirits that linger on the roads.

The making of offerings is a way of quietly practising the worship of God to cleanse your mind and control worldly passions. It is an act of love and respect that enriches a pure heart and helps us receive the wisdom and guidance of God.

~ from Fragrant Rice by Janet De Neefe

A glass house at the end of the world

1122 hours to get here,
to Ubud
and the end of the world.
We’re closer to Australia
than Japan where we live.
In 22 hours
we could almost
reach Ottawa.
But we came here
Eat. Read. Sleep. (Swim.)

12Now people say
a lot of things.
They have opinions
about Ubud
and the “Eat~Pray~Lovers”
who visit.
In our (rented) glass house
we try not to pass judgment
on the vacation plans of others
or what they might be looking for.
Are there women here
seeking their Felipe?
Can you blame them?

offers lush greenness.
Rice fields to soothe
the shattered soul.
Food made with love
and fresh ingredients.

riceWe eat outside.
It’s rainy season
and the night sky
sometimes lights up
with a spectacular storm show.
(They should sell tickets.)
Distant mountains are revealed.
We find them on a map
and plan a day trip
to the Northern Coast.

6At night
the cicadas
bust out their best
rock and roll
while the bull frogs
sing back up.


We share the glass house
with nature.
A gecko appears
at the end of the shower,
pretends not to see us.

A pond explodes
with plump gold fish.
(Balinese cats
must be
terribly tempted.
Or happy and fat.)

fishYellowed leaves,
longer than my feet,
fall slowly
to the ground.
No one hurries in Bali.

If they bulldozed this resort
to the ground ~
the rooms, the restaurants,
the moss-covered statues
of ancient elephants ~
the jungle would reclaim it
in one season.

glasshouseA young cleaner bows.
“Madam, we have finished
cleaning your room.”
Never have sweeter words
been spoken by a man
to a woman.

If this is the end of the world,
we feel fine.

  • Photo credit: Photo of gecko taken by DP. You can see more of his work here.

A Walk + Tex Mex in Ubud






















Oh, don’t think
I don’t know
what you’re thinking.

“They are in Indonesia
and they are eating
Tex Mex?”

Yes, I say, Yes!
Without guilt
or defensiveness.

You might eat it too
if you were here.

Taco Casa
Website: www.tacocasabali.com
Jl. Pengosekan (South end of Ubud), Ubud,
Gianyar, Bali 80571
Telephone: +62 361 2123818

  • Photo Credits: Photos 2, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 15 were taken by DP. You can find more of his work here.

ballet at the shallow end

a confession:
i took on too much
this vacation.
2 conference papers
+ 6 countries
in 2 weeks.
(it seemed like a good idea
at the time.)
as my friend jacquie said,
i am going to need a vacation
from my vacation.
did you ever feel like that?

the good news:
i think it’s going to be okay.

mom, dp and i
are chilling in ubud, bali
where even the geckos are friendly.
6 blissed-out days and nights
without plans
or planes to catch.

my mom is staying
in this gorgeous glass house
with its own pool.
(it’s beautiful like a dream.)

this afternoon
we three
(none of us water-babies)
met up in the pool.
dp jumped right in,
i entered incrementally
(with gasps and giggles)
and mom eased herself
into the water
with trepidation.

i found that i’m still
a mad floater
(“amazing!” dp said,
“i think we found your super power.”)
while he no longer floats with ease.
we bobbed up and down
and laughed like kids.

i suggested that i choreograph
a ballet for the pool.
a ballet for three swimmers.
my mom said her part would need
to be at the shallow end.

here they are,
my water-ballerina mother
with my water-ballet beloved.

there need to be
more days like this.
pineapple spring roll days.
sleep-in + nap days.
stay in your bathing suit days.

i know you know
there ought to be more
days like this.