Rain Stops Play

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Settling in to a rhythm.

Posting the daily painting and the email check come from from Lala and Lili's Warung. We have tried the Toko Toko cafe where the coffee is bad, and the Yellow Flower caf� too where the coffee is good, but since we are off coffee and on mango lasso and ginger tea, lovely Lala's wins. In it, curvaceous and decorative teak chairs and tables are placed around a lily pond. A trolley is piled high with tropical fruit. A mammoth lily flower arises from the water with its creamy chunk of avocado in the middle of its stamen. You can have apple rubber pie if you wish but I go for the steamed vegetables and Julian for the noodles.

We have already breakfasted at home by the little pool, with a mound of highly paintable fruit: Mangosteen, papaya, midget banana and coconut from the tree outside our house (the latter torn apart with Julian's bare hands while marveling that carpets are made of its husk). Later, after his painting session, Julian will exercise his increasing skill at Indonesian shrimp curry, so lunch, (after yoga on mondays, wednesdays and fridays) is out and costs five euros for two. We are one of many westerners with MacBooks and falling occasionally into conversation about Tadasana or the thinking mind. We have both just finished Tim Parks' book 'Teach Us to Sit Still'. We are not running around seeing Bali (the back-packer's perfect way to avoid sitting still) but rather living in Ubud for a month, face to face with our aging thickening bodies and our obsessive thoughts. Help, we think, is at hand. We have a long way to go but we are hopeful that, with the yoga, massage and the break from the stress of daily life (yes, even in Provence), this may kick start us in to a healthier way of being.

On this particular afternoon, lunch is extended by rain. After two hours we decide to be brave and take the rice paddy track home. The rain however, becomes heavy. We plunge in to it and head back towards the road through Ananda cottages but heavy rain is turning to storm. We take shelter in a doorway. Then, sensing this downpour may be prolonged we run for the Toko Toko, only three minutes from our house, and by the time we get there the forked lightening is fizzing and cracking at the electrical wires in front of our ginger tea. Ginger tea turns to a too-early beer. People walk past the pond-side caf� with various forms of rain protection, a plank, a piece of MDF, an umbrella, a banana leaf. A couple with soaked rucksacks run in and ask for a room. A drenched golden Ibis hops on the sodden grass, offerings are flattened, the waitress' blouse is so wet it's see-through, but the exotic flowers bend and quiver glorious in their delicate strength.

It is almost five now. The daily painting is called off. We sit.

What better moment to be present. To repeat the old mantra 'Nothing to do. Nowehere to go…'. People pay tens of dollars for tapes of this sound of tropical rain and the birdsong, toad-croak, flutter of damsel fly, I think. But that, of course, is just another thought.

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8 Comments

THANKS FOR THE RUNDOWN OF YOUR LIFE........AND THE PICTURES......LOVE IT...YU MAKE IT SO PERSONAL AND YOU ARE ENCOURAGING ME TO PAINT YOU ARE TRULY INSPIRATONAL............MERCI, SPASIBO( RUSSIAN) GRACIAS AND THANKS FOR DOING"IT"...
HOW LONG WILL YOU REMAIN IN BALI?......WE IN NEW YORK HAVE THE OPPOSITE WEAATHER: SNOW AND IT IS PRETTY.......AND WELCOME THE SUN SOON I HOPE
ENJOY, EXERCISE AND EAT HEALTHY........YOU DO HAVE SOME DELICIOUS FRUIT IN INDONESIA...
PHYLLIS

I'm loving seeing your photos of a place I know well.

I could have sworn Julian was sitting with his Mac in the restaurant next to the pool at Ananda Cottages.

Do try an evening drink and the landscape surrounding the Ayung River behind the Infinity Pool at the Amandari. It's one of those very surreal experiences that you "do once"!

Dearest ones, how beautiful and funny Ruth is . What a miraculous antedote to Bali past and future times to sit so still is a blessing and I will be thinking of you on Monday when I play my stilled Dervish at Kings Place . all love to you...and Julian's painting is like revisiting my old story..amazing Julian what a star you are.

Beautiful, beautiful...you obviously don't need me - or anybody else - to say have a very happy birthday!! Lots of love, geckoxxx

Aaahh.

That would be Sasho, not Sasjp.

Thank you for your lovely story and photos. They bring sunny thoughts to a rainy gray day in Belingham, in the Northwest of USA.

Best wishes, Naomi

Thank you for your wonderful letter,you make it so personel that I feel to know you and Julian.
After two weeks of -20c with and a white world of snow here in Calgary it is so nice to see paintings and photo,s of beautiful Bali.
enjoy the rest of your stay there But is the mimosa bloom ing now in the Provence?
Greetings Rini.

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