Bali Hi: Part 2- Temples Everywhere


At the base of what looked like a blue run on the Tetons but what is the second highest mountain in Bali there sits a cluster of temples. It is a tourist attraction and I know that because of the passenger vans that released a bevy of snow white confused german people into the forrest.  Bali seems to know when I am just about to break from the soupy heat. It sent us a booming deluge that pushed everyone under awnings. But it felt so seemed like a purification. God knows I could use one of those…We didn’t even make it past the first set of alters before a solid three inches of water covered everything. You shouldn’t read in to every thing that happens, most of it just happens and that’s it, that’s all. Yet in this merciless rain I saw how everything is a temple, even a semi dry spot by a garbage can in a courtyard littered with incense sticks and rice. In that rain I could feel the gods guiding me to some strange truth.


In western faith the faces of God and the holies around him are always placid and peaceful. Here they are mischievous, revengeful, indifferent.  They need an offering every single day. Much like life.  Whether you want to be reverent or not, there is little room to avoid the temples and the gods that guard them. Temples and metaphors, forever and ever.


When I took off on this trip I made a promise to myself that I would put myself in the face of fear. All of the little things that stop me from experiencing life, I want to confront and squash them. Turns out that scootering is one of those fears. All I can imagine is road rash and head ons. Three days of scootering and I am a fucking fiend! Don’t be surprised if you see me on a Scoopy rip tearing through Jackson Hole. Anyhow I, as per usual, digress. On an evening scooter with thunder clouds putting a rush on things we dipped in the Echo Beach parking lot to see the end of a cremation ceremony. It’s not morbid as all of that, this was the part where they call the soul back home with music. And then the rain came. Hard and sudden. Following the procession of cars and scooters, music playing the entire time…cymbals and flutes, drums, we laughed and smiled. And they laughed and smiled with us, maybe at us, but either way, moral was high. I do believe that we called that soul all the way home.

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Every day I feel another layer peeled away, on me and on this place. There is so much here. And the food…jesus christ the food. More on that next time.

*All Images are property of Mustang Josi.  That’s me. 

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