Thursday, 23 September 2010

life is an offering


I saw this piece of writing on a house in a field in Bali. I loved it instantly, and didn't know why. Maybe the font - the simplicity of it - turning the words over in my head, wondering what they meant to me, at that moment in time.

90% of the population of Bali is Hindu. They believe in their Gods with their whole heart, and offer up daily incense and candles and pieces of food every morning. Everywhere you turn, there are offerings. In shops, the marketplace, the hotel lobby, the fancy spa. The air is thick with the scent, and when you buy something, a lot of the time they take the money and thank God out loud, tapping the items in their shop with the cash.

I often light candles in the morning at home - at least one. To remind myself of Spirit, as I walk from room to room, picking up and sorting everybody's mess around here - unpacking the dishwasher - sitting down to try to get some work done. The candle is there, silently flickering, reminding me of something else always present. (Always watching, Wazowski.)

Since being in Bali, my candle ritual has grown deeper, with more of a purpose. I light incense all the time now, too. Add some lavender from the garden. Sometimes I sprinkle a little piece of weet-bix in there as well, to offer up the Gods some brekkie. The recovering Catholic in me thinks, you are not supposed to worship false Gods. SACRILEGE!

But I stopped officially being a Catholic when the priest flippantly told me, as a grieving 16 year old girl, to "not waste my time worrying about my (step)father who had just killed himself ..... as he would now be in purgatory forever."

I have been searching for some kind of meaning my whole life. (Isn't everyone?) I had the Book of Mormon, Dianetics, Moonies. I have renounced God, saw dreadful evil in the world, then let God back into my heart. I *hate* the word God, and how I automatically still say He, after all these years. I believe in the God of nature, of karma, of love. I'm pretty sure generations of Buddhists and Hinduists and the like .... will not be all sent to burn in hell. They're really lovely people - MUCH nicer than many Catholics I have met.

So, my "God" is a kind of cobbled-together, broken but cool God who knows how hard it is to love life. Since I was a child, I've had a firm belief that the instant we die, we'll know all the answers.

In the meantime ..... we're here to learn and grow and evolve, as much as we can. Be kind, man. Give of yourself to your family, and friends, and others. There's a saying that's been drummed into my head over time - you've got to give it away to keep it.

The last few years have cracked me open, wide open, never to return to my old hermit crab shell. It's nice, to be open. Look people in the eyes, allow myself to feel more free and have wonderful conversations, not be so fearful and closed. I like it here.

On my last day in Bali, we were driving back to our hotel and I told Dave I had to get a photo of that piece of writing. I saw and yelled at the driver to stop, on this really busy road with cars zooming by. I ran out, just as it started to rain, jumping over into a paddy field and got my feet wet and dirty. I stood precariously on this bit of a hill, snapping away for ages, trying to get a good angle.

Life really is an offering. I light all my shiz and say a bit of a prayer, almost every morning now. I'm so grateful and thankful, to have full use of my body, a beautiful family, a roof over my head. And the incense burns ash all over the countertops, like lines of a dusty caterpillar. I don't clean them every day, just light another one in the mess from the day before, in the remnants of yesterdays intention.


::

THANK YOU for your kind words and love on my last post. Rocco still has the big lump. Back to the doc tomorrow for another look-see. He is snuggled up in bed with me right now, tossing and turning, with a fever. Clutching Buzz in one hand and Woody in the other.
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