Balinese postcard

I’m having a shower in the evening. Local people were outside, in their compounds, celebrating Kunningan. During the day I couldn’t help but feel some sort of special energy around. We ate Korean and had a massage in Ubud. We then dined at the hut, some fried stuff with egg and vegetables, and she was in the room, and tomorrow we would climb a mountain during dawn and get extremely tired and even wounded, but at the same time witness the most beautiful sunrise of our lives. But now – in the present – I’m in the bathroom. The bathroom is typical of these balinese guest houses, meaning: the ceiling is open. Below the opening there’s a plant, not very exotic but nicely trimmed and proportional to the rest of the elements in this space: the toilet, the mirror and lavatory, and the bath. The bath is made of small, sea blue coloured tiles. I’m showering and listening to a prayer projected into the forest by some very loud speakers. Occasionally I hear this sound, that I cannot connect to any existing reality, in the middle of the prayer and the insects around the hut. I wonder if it is the sound of a rare insect, a finger-sized balinese mosquito; I wonder if it comes from the palm tree leaves hitting one another with the wind; I wonder if it is just some degree of technical interference coming from the speakers. Meanwhile the water runs hot and is sufficiently pressurized. When it stops I can understand that the unknown sound is a feminim voice, a contra-projection (a contra-prayer?) coming from another direction. Suddendly it starts rainning. Rain drops hit the leafs of the bathroom plant, in a light but regular manner. I’ve heard modern music concerts that were simpler than this sound mix that arrives to the bathroom. I’m standing still in the bath, wet, listening to it all when I look around and notice that there is a small clay turtle in the lower shelve of the lavatory. I wonder if it has any meaning, if it symbolizes anything – a hindu god, a reincarnated person, some sort of natural power of protection or grace – just like the prayers and the sounds and the plants symbolize something. Notwithstanding all the theological possibilities, I think all of this represents the irresistible complexity of the present and its indomitable power, the invisible soul that you can only feel in these weird, mundane moments when, strangely enough, you are closer to life than you can imagine. I stay like this, not exactly relinquishing (that’s not at all the word) but rather being, with the least possible effort, in this state of affairs, respecting the essence of this time and this space, of the discourse that is being reproduced here, before reaching for the towel. At the towel’s first contact with my back’s skin I feel that, for all that it is, it is a warm night, here in the hut.