“Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.” Krishnamurti.
The big ceremony, in the temple down the road, is still not over. The zenith was last Wednesday everybody told and I thought it would be over then. Not so. From all over the island groups arrive every day. The traffic is in total disorder, partly because of the crowds but mainly because the police decided to do their part. In the meantime, people keep coming and they are happy. “You’re clean again”, says Ibu Putu with a face full of happiness and, although I don’t understand much of Hinduism, it’s something I can relate to. Even after a service of four and a half hours (!) in Africa – all in Zulu and besides the “welcome mister Frank from Holland” I hardly understood a word – I had the same feeling. I think most of us know the relief after a new beginning and the new perspective that comes with it. The confession in Catholic churches, I don’t have personal experience there, must be something similar and, as long as it doesn’t become routine, a wonderful position. The compulsiveness and the ridiculous high costs here in Bali are bothersome but in the knowledge “to be clean again” is great value.
In the meantime of course, it’s very possible, I did see it happen yesterday, that you leave cleansed from the temple and hardly on the road you clash with another motorbike and you get into a quarrel. And then a police officer blames you! Bye new beginning, bye cleanliness, the whole trip for nothing. Maybe to the temple tomorrow…
Ever been waved at by a thousand people you don’t even know? I thought so. I am though. Thursday evening I was in a small restaurant and another twelve trucks, each with 80 – 90 people, came by on their way to the temple. How and why it happened I don’t know but someone on the first truck waved and I waved back. Then the whole truck joined as well as all the trucks behind them. That is, the people in the trucks joined. Hello celebrity, eat that, 1000!
A new beginning; sometimes, probably even often, it means breaking with what was before. The almost megalomanic nonsense of “Non, je ne regrette rien” aside for a while, repeat and now better, back to base and, for me often too, to ‘Ne me quitte pas’. Panta Rhei – everything flows – and the future comes from behind is what the Greek say. The future; surprising when she reaches us, and demanding we’re observant if we want to grab chances and possibilities. With the stream, in front of us, things disappear from our sight and become the past. Who, like I do, tends to cling to the remnants of (e.g.) a disaster in life, takes flight from the future. (Read more and better in books about Kairos, a description of the other time.)
After a silence of eight or nine months T. sends an email and a a test-message; he’s sorry about how things went. ‘How you did things’ is my first thought. Not for long though; is trying again still an option, also when it simply doesn’t work? There is little I’ve let go of. Everything; the mountains of broken, damage and pain and the good experiences, it still isn’t beyond the horizon. there. His ‘You’re useless’ is still a fat splinter and it itches. Even so, a new beginning? I often blame the way I was brought up but it’s more likely that’s a flaw within me; not wanting to let go of the other and repair what is broken. ‘Ne me quitte pas.’ (Maybe that’s why melting glass together suits me so well?)
‘It had been glued a hundred times and every now and then, it broke again’ was the text of a Dutch singer and in between Chris DeBurgh sings, in another context, about the ‘Classical dilemma between the head and the heart’. The last bit of Studio Emmanuel and of what once started as a project full of hope. I’m not good in finding the balance between head and heart. I stumble there. The metaphor of times gone by that float towards oblivion, towards the horizon to give tomorrow a chance, helps me. With pain I decide to let the future come and to give space to the stream that is life.
The teaching of the church won’t change. Divorced and re-married Catholics remain, in the eyes of the church, not equipollent believers. But; the church will approach them in a different way. Didn’t I read well or did it say indeed “I think you’re not equal but as of now I’ll do my best not to show my feelings”? Later more positive news came; there will be room, also for gay people. Care and respect for each and every human being and his or her talents. That news again was, at least partly, contradicted by a well known Dutch priest, not my favourite catholic I have to admit, whom also had something to say about the tension between the teachings and practice, between men of the letter and the lenient. His worries that the lenient would overrule the men of the script, I don’t share. Let them please do, also in a church a new beginning doesn’t come from scripts.
Also new: a series of objects bases on poems. To the first object belongs a text of my own.
Patches of sentences that artfully hidden, contain a life.
Remembered and lost; sometimes, undusted of too much thinking, half a poem.
A cupboard chockfull, the door stuck in banality,
all is in stock, to look for it and find are two.
This morning the smell of breakfast softly mused a verse,
the chainsaw at the neighbours made firewood.
Handwritten comfort between banknotes became shopping-list,
nothing for that boy behind the counter.
Stay with me, I ask.