Conversations with Wayan: Part IV

David: “Why all the huge offerings at the house this morning?  There’s fruit, cake, candy, and extra flowers along with the usual offerings. It must be a big Day!”

Wayan: “Today is the day the God come to Earth to check things out, say hello, see his creation like you, like me, like dog.  So special offering.”
D: “But God comes often, new moon, full moon, and…”
W: “Yes, lots of times, but today special.  No planting rice today. Day to recharge, replace energy used on magic.  Important day in Bali.”
D: “So the God are really busy today.  Lots to see and do.”
W: “Yes, Pak David. October and November really busy in Bali for the God.  Lots of holiday, temple ceremony.  I think they get tired.”
D: “Don’t they ever get a break? Vacation? Weekend off?”
W: “No, no day off for the God.”

W: “In Bali we’re lucky to have the volcanoes. Where else would we get all the building materials, the sand, stone, and fertile soil?”

W: “I like to talk, but no idea (pointing to his head). Not much material [to work with.]”

Wayan picked me up at the house at 9:00am and we drove straight to the warehouse and spent the full day there. Wayan napped, ate, and chatted with the carvers all day. At 5:00pm, as we were leaving, I asked him:
D: “Where did the day go, Wayan?”
W: “Mmm, Pak David, I forget.”

One morning, while driving to the warehouse, I asked Wayan:
D: “Why do you do as little praying and temple work as possible, unlike most Balinese who spend much of their lives on ceremonies and community work?”
Wayan, with his simple honesty said: “The God knows I’m busy, so it’s OK with him if I don’t go to the temple. I’m working, making money for my family. That’s right action. God understands.”

Wayan: “Lots of ghosts running around last night.”
David: “Yah, something turned our electric off last night for a few hours.”
Wayan: “Yes.  See, ghosts.”


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Having journeyed to the Far East and Asia over 20 times in the past 20 years, I’ve been intrigued and inspired by the ingenuity, craftsmanship, balance and human spirit that have gone into the making of those works I have seen and collected.

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