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Washing in the river

Place: singaraja

Poison: water

Favourite things: our new friend katut

As we drive around the whole perimeter of Bali, I am once again overwhelmed at the enormous need and the poverty of the third world. At the same time my mind wanders to the future and the new season I’m about to enter and all the things I would like to achieve when I get home.

One thing in particular is renovating the shack, the bathroom being retiled and improved. As my mind dreamed about the possibilities, we drove past two nameless women, bathing naked in the river and the juxtaposition of my thoughts of the future and the reality of the vision of my present, was quite disarming.

Here I am dreaming with the capacity to achieve this dream of white tiles, a bath and shower and these women everyday, strip down naked in public and bathe I’m the water hat the whole villages waste flows into.

Something is terribly wrong with this picture. How do I change it though? I can’t transport these women to my world and how arrogant of me to think that my pictures prettier.

Maybe their daily ritual of sitting without the women in the river, chatting connecting, the freedom of fear and self conscious body image, is far more healthy than my sterile, white hygienic ritual of perfection.

As I look in my mirror I reflect on the images that Hollywood has portrayed as beautiful, whilst they sit their none the wiser enjoying the mountain view, with no mirror insight.

I can’t change their reality, neither they mine, but we can learn to let go a little and our western pursuit of perfection and success maybe isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

One day soon I might just go bathe in the river…hoping that just a little of my western ideals are softened just for the day.
Soften me please.


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