Bali I Love You: Letting Myself Get Made
Bali I love you: Letting Myself Get Made, from the “Love in the Time of Corona” a Corona Diaries series of Morning Pages entries, written while Cat is stranded in Australia.
I didn’t choose Bali. Bali chose me. I didn’t know why then I had to spend so much time thanking the land, the spirits of Bali, for all the support and love you’ve given me for 15 years. I couldn’t tell you why these “no’s” were happening and I wanted to fight this but this is what death teaches us: the ultimate surrender.
Bali I love you… It was a full moon when I left Bali and at 3am that very night I found myself sitting under a tree meditating.
I didn’t know why then I had to spend so much time thanking the land, the spirits of Bali, for all the support and love you’ve given me for 15 years. From our first dance together, it was magic-electric and I admit I both hated you and loved you. There’s a way that you shake me and you know me that no other place does. Even the Balinese say Bali’s in my blood. I’ve meditated in front of sacred waterfalls and have had memories of doing this thousands of years before, I can’t tell you how or why but there’s a language of the land that pricks my skin and it’s here where I can so easily remember.
It’s the place where my cauldron comes alive, where my work has been truly birthed, where I feel seen, and a language my heart can move through. It’s also a place that has tormented me and given me sharp edges and a place I keep running away and towards…this whole time.
We don’t get to choose, do we? I didn’t choose Bali. Bali chose me.
She infected me with her first Barong picture in 1998 and kept hunting me until I showed up to her. I had to work so hard to get away from her at times.
And yet this one night I could sit under this tree with the moon and the stars and say “thank you.” I know we are together now. Even if I never see you again you will always be with me.
My heart is heavy because I don’t know when I get to come back to you. Bali I love you.
My best friend in the whole world, my Balinese twin, is there. Lola, my sweet cat. It’s the place I’ve been calling home. Other precious friends, the spirits of the land. I had a nightmare in 2009 that I wasn’t allowed back into Bali and I promised myself that I would never let that happen. But two weeks ago I had to make a choice.
It was a tough one because my head could argue one thing but if I followed my flow, where my light was going, I knew that here in Australia I had to stay. I have a new love affair here, a new way that I need to run away and run towards and be caught in the magic of that tension. Australia’s spirits have always spoken and held me here, sweet lessons in the desert when I fasted on water and slept under a she-oak for 5 days, dark lessons in men and sex, the time when the Wanampi – the rainbow serpent – bit my neck and showed me where we all came from, how we’re all connected. Yes, the spirits are alive here. And as usual I’m fighting my listening.
A new birthing is coming, a new edge of energetics.
I’m forced to live with the trees and kangas and usually it’s a relief and sometimes, like now, I don’t want to. There’s a part of my mind who will always believe I belong elsewhere, that I’m missing out on the fun, magic, or true belonging. It’s this neuroses who doesn’t let me settle and this neuroses who doesn’t let me sink deeper into my practice. I know it and pretend it’s not there and right now we get to stop pretending.
So I get to watch myself homesick this morning, glaring at my partner who in reality is perfect.
No one is perfect but to get one man so trustworthy and kind, so willing to work with me so that we can keep riding this wave together even though I keep wanting to bail – that’s good enough. His steadiness is the drumbeat for our relationship. My friends say maybe he’s not magical enough but I’ve worked with enough people to know that the magic is in all of us – it’s just finding the way to remember our way back to who we really are. My yearning to escape back to Bali is just that – an escape – a place for my safe cauldron where I believe I get to be undisturbed but let’s get real – the moment we strip everything away we suddenly see where all the disturbances come from and it’s usually just the glory of me, myself, and I.
Of course I want to blame and these days we get new blaming – the virus – the government – the people we’re stuck with.
But no. If I strip that away and It’s me and the trees there’s a neutrality to show me the way. I want to wiggle. I have my own discomfort, but if I stay a little longer, underneath this perfect tension the magic is here. Now more than ever is not the time to think that we need to fly away or hide to find our magic. Our magic belongs here.
It took me so long to be comfortable in 3-D.
If you’re like me you’ll get what I’m saying. If you’re not like me, you either will think I’m batshit or maybe intrigued. But the breath of the spirits, the lessons of the universe, where we came from and where we’re going, I feel this. I’ve known our connection, our dreaming together. Seeking that knowledge isn’t my own work – it’s how to bring it back into earth. To be grounded is to be light, to be here is to be fully present and I know that’s where our power lives.
So I get to rumble in the mornings.
I’m moody and melancholic wherever you put me. And yet at some point I can find this funny again. This is the ultimate practice, the dropping into here, to let life take me. Where I’m writing, a month ago I tried to tell you – Land – that this was the last time I was ever going to see you. I really tried. And I was pissed off because you said, “No.” I went back to Bali and told you I was going to see You really soon and you said, “No.”
I couldn’t tell you why these “no’s” were happening. And I wanted to fight this, but this is what death teaches us: the ultimate surrender.
Previously I used to think I could stay on top of everything, that I had enough force or magic to make my way. But the real power happens when we let ourselves get made. The day my brother was dying, I was brought to my knees probably in a way that nothing will ever bring me there again. Because now with death I recognize the reminder.
I’m not the Maker.
I’m part of the Maker. I dream as the Maker. But in the perfect paradox of all truth that is, I’m not the Maker. I’m made by the maker. And can I let myself keep being made? Can I rest in this? When I let the water wash through me, it’s not demons that reside, it’s not pain. The water washes through the pain and underneath are the gems I’ve been scrabbling for all along. My own light that sings, my own light that will carry me through this and all the way back Home.