Friday, November 10, 2017

Time Travel

Seaview, Washington

Back in the U.S. after more than a year, it's like we've stepped off a time machine. The more we live this nomadic life, the more all travel feels like time travel. Life doesn't feel linear; it's like something I'm swimming in, a dreamy substance that infuses me.

When we left China, we traveled in Thailand and Indonesia for three months. Was that yesterday? Last year? Ten years ago? Or is it still happening?

time and space blend...
When I look at Dave's pictures and write about the oraguntans and komodo dragons, the Gili islands and Amed,  Anais Nin's words come to me:

Writers taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

Visceral recollections sweep through me: My arms wrapped around Dave on a motorbike, up hills with blue sea vistas, gliding past palm trees, winding through traffic.

My job is to hold on and loosen up. Alert relaxation, like a meditation. At times I close my eyes, feel the tropical air touching my skin, my heart pressed to Dave's back.

Phuket, Thailand
In Ubud, I walk morning streets, incense and flowers perfuming the air, dogs sniffing at offerings placed on the streets, kites and birds floating in the sky, swaths of green rice fields glowing in the sun, ancient temples wedged between stores.

Stairs to yoga.
Intuitive doing yoga in a tree house.

There are so many incredible women everywhere: in yoga, in a goddess workshop, in cafes. We talk: Not what do you do? But who are you, what matters to you, what is your life? I'm giddy. I'm in awe. How is it that we collided here on the planet at this place and time?

Marilyn, in her 70s, has lived in Ubud many years with her Balinese "family."

Coco Wayan...we greet each other every day, and I buy coconuts from her.
Eliska and Christie, getting in touch with our inner goddesses.

The young women at the hotel in Flores call me "Mama Kate."
Embraced by friendship: Nancy (center) and Cynthia who met up with us at the writing retreat.
Music plays in my mind, the vibration that runs through the body, the heart, as our friends Paul (from Liverpool) and Daria (from Russia) play. They have come from China to meet up with us in Nusa Dua, Bali. We are together again, connected through rhythms and voices...

Throughout Indonesia, we experience music, dance, bodies telling stories.

Uluwatu, Bali
Ubud Jazz Festival

Jimbaran, Bali

Two months in Indonesia and we're off to Thailand. Did I really co-host a writing retreat on the island of Koh Phangan? Something I'd dreamed about doing for long time...and after all the months of planning and prepping and there we were, writers together, having journeyed on airplanes, trains, boats to converge in this rarefied little corner of the world.

Although I risk cliche, I will say it: we laughed, we cried, we wrote our hearts out.

Writers at work... 

...and play.

And all the water, the body floats there now.
Flores, Indonesia with Fran and Paul

Koh Phangan, Thailand writers

Nai Harn Beach in Phuket, where we spent our last 2 weeks.

Leaving Southeast Asia after more than a year, we travel for 24 hours and land in the dream of Hawaii. When we arrive at the waterfront home of our friend Candis, we throw off our clothes and jump naked into the warm Pacific.

We're on the other side of the world. And again we're in the ocean, in our most natural state, afloat in the Earth's amniotic fluid.

Lanikai, Oahu

Everywhere go, it seems, I am sent messages.

Found in Thailand

Found in Ubud.
Life, I am listening.

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