Bali From the Terrace – Morning Time

koi1Early morning and I’m up before sunrise. Through the two rows of glass roof tiles I see dawn’s light arrive and grow. I know if I’m not out of bed now I’ll miss the morning quiet. I make a cup of tea on the way to feed the fish in the lotus pond outside the front door. I found this pair of 100 yr old teak doors on a “hunting” trip to Java while we were building this house. When I open the left door it creaks and the fish come running. They know that’s the sound of breakfast. In their frenzy to get the first of the floating nuggets the water churns with flashes of orange, red, gold and white. The fish are growing fast. I hope they don’t pop from overeating like oranges do from over watering. In the ten weeks I was away they have doubled in size and number as have the lotus flowers. Continue reading Bali From the Terrace – Morning Time


ali-sumba2007-164Ali is my friend from Sumba who guided me to see Pasola, the warriors-on-horseback festival on Sumba Island, Indonesia. Ali also scouts remote Sumba villages for me, looking for tribal art and artifacts. His opposites co-exist on his shirtsleeve. Aggressive and gentle, generous and blatantly self-interested, he accepts correction humbly, yet walks with that universal swagger of the arrogant or would-be arrogant. Each trait is always contested, at some point by its opposite. One never really knows which Ali will be on top in his war of opposites. Fortunately, his overriding attributes are loyalty and friendship. Ultimately, I can always count on him, though I cannot entirely trust him, as his self-interest is too highly developed for trust. I often have to remind him who he really is, in other words, the good Ali, to keep him on track. Continue reading Ali

Tribal and Village Drums

drum2I find myself more and more attracted to folk instruments of Asia and the “Islands,” especially the drums. As a kid (and this hasn’t changed much) I couldn’t dance because I couldn’t hear the beat of the music. Imagine doing the waltz or cha-cha “rhythm-deaf.” Anyway, drums had never been my thing, but all that’s changed now. Continue reading Tribal and Village Drums