I just spent the better part of the past hour and a half writing a beautiful, long, heartfelt post about how I've experienced many "deaths of the beloved" within my own Self... how layers of my self (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) come into being and eventually die all the time... I wrote of how I've honored those deaths... celebrated them... mourned them... how its simply a natural cycle of life... I mean the liver is capable of actually regrowing - rebirthing itself if you will - even if the vast majority of it has died!
Come on! That's amazing!
So I was writing writing writing... divine poetry flowing out of my fingertips... And then the wifi cut out and I lost it all. Sigh.
Initial reaction: exhaustion and disappointment.
Secondary reaction: exhaustion and disappointment, haha. (I was hoping my second reaction would be a bit more reminiscent of a second wind, but no dice)
I'm not going to rewrite it - I'm sorry. I wish I had it in me, but I just don't! I tried to write a "here's the jist of it" version, and it just didn't do it justice. So instead I'm simply going to put up some photos of my week, and call it art <3
Okay so I am going to write a tiny little hint of what I originally intended for this blog post...
One of the most beautiful Balinese traditions that I've encountered during my month and a half here is, when someone dies and their body is burned, it is believed that the soul then begins its ascent into heaven (into the beyond, the afterlife, whatever you want to call it) ... The entire village gathers to be present for the soul's departure, to support and encourage its release of the human form. A host of men play an incredible symphony on the gamelans, a traditional Indonesian instrumental ensemble made up of gongs, drums, xylophones. The boomings sounds from this magnificent orchestra build a ladder - wrung my wrung, note by note - for the soul to climb. At dawn and dusk, when the spirit is thought to be most weary, most likely to fall prey to the demons grasping at its heels, pulling it back towards earth, the musicians pour all their energy into the instruments - the music gets louder and louder, so frenetic and powerful you can feel it vibrate in the deepest parts of your body. Each strike of the drum, each ring of the gong, urges the spirit onwards, helping it to let go, to say goodbye to its time in this body on this earth and to move gracefully into its new form of being, whatever that may be.
When I die, and my village gathers to mourn and celebrate, I want there to be music to guide my soul into the beyond - to mark the death of this beloved and the birth of another.
I'll leave you with the words from this week's blessing that really sing to me...
"We look toward each other no longer from the old distance of our names; now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath, as close to us as we are to ourselves. ...
Let us not look for you only in memory, where we should grow lonely without you. You would want us to find you in presence, beside us when beauty brightens, when kindness glows and music echoes eternal tones."