There are two pet doors at our house. One for the front screen door and one for the back screen door. Old Kardino built both screen doors for us and put in the little dog/cat doors at the bottom of each. The flaps he made out of a rubber doormat. They're always open when we're here and the back one is always open even if we're gone for a week. That way, Kuci the cat (pronounced kuchi) can always go in and out and Bandi (pronounced Bandi) has access at night to the back for personal reasons. If we're out, she's up front in the courtyard. If she's accidentatlly left inside she'll claw her way out through a screen (most windows left open always) necesitating a visit from Kardino to fix the gap. [photo of one entrance to part of Cangkir the old hardware store]
When I was maybe eight years old, I was with my father in a grocery store on Forest Park Drive watching what he did - Pick out items, take them to the cashier, and pay. Outside as we approached the car, an 88 Oldsmobile, I asked him, "Daddy, instead of giving people money for things why can't they be free and then we they need something it will be free? It seemed to me that money was extra. That was around 1953 and anti-communism was the big thing. I wonder what my realtor father thought back then about his son espousing a fundamental Marxist principle - From each according to thier ability; to each according to their needs."
The last one is on psychedelics and emphasizes how their benefits far outweight the problems which makes me reflect with sadness on the cruel and counter-productive war on drugs. There are a number of scenes with therapists adminstering them to patients with generally very positive results. They screen the people thoroughy. It is the sort of report I've seen many times though done very well. What I always think of is the many acid trips I guided people on. I didn't screen at all. I never saw anyone have a seriously bad trip. But unlike the ones in the documentaries, I only would do it in a natural setting with an agreement not to talk, following the advice of Timothy Leary who said almost all problem come from talking or social settings. I stopped doing that in early 1967. I don't feel critical of the theraputic approach but it seems to me it can limit one. People tend to say they had the most important experience of their life even on a trip with a therapist, but to me the highest realms were found in silence with nature. I always want to tell them - don't talk! Do it in nature!
After my hernia operation six weeks ago, the doctor came to visit me 24 hours after the operation in my nice private hospital room (which cost the all of fifty bucks a day). He was a little excited and said, "Guess what we found when we did your operation?" I had no idea. "It was your large intestine, not the small intestine." Then he told me that I should sit up, put on the new underwear Katrinka just bought me at his suggestion, tight briefs, and start walking and go home. I said I wondered about which intestine it was, that it seemed awfully large. Inguinal hernias, also called groin hernias, are the most common and they're usually the small intestine protruding through a weakness in the abdominal muscles. He said I had an unusually long large intestine. I remembered back thirty years ago when a Japanese man, a farmer, told me that caucasians can eat brown rice because we have longer intestines than Japanese. I don't think he got that from studying human anatamy in school. But Dr. Adi wasn't lumping me in with other caucasians. He said I had an unusually long large intestine for a human being. I flash forward to my Wikipedia listing a century from now with only one line: "Known for his unusually long large intestine." I always wanted to be special and now I know I am. As I walk down the street now I look at others and think, "Hmm. I have a longer large intestine than they do. I'm special!"
There are a few memories I have of things I've done that make me shudder. One of them is how in high school, Ward, Raymond and I would go out in my super fast 59 Pontiac Catalina with 3 two -barrell carburators. First, Raymond who looked much older would buy the booze. Mainly we drank hard liquor. I liked Scotch - did not like bourbon at all or to drink a lot of beer. One thing we did a few times was to get going super fast on the freeway while one of us was on the hood holding on to the windshield wipers. We'd take turns. It makes me shudder to remember that.
Full moon tonight - purnama in Indonesian. Gregory is visiting from Aridzona. I thought he should experience a Melukat, purification ceremony. So Katrinka gathered a couple of sarongs and sashes for us and I my udeng headpiece and we walked down to the twin temples in the mangroves by the beach - Pura Pengembak and Pura Dalem. On the way there Gregory commented on how dirty and yucky the mangrove water looked. Outside I stopped a couple about to leave and asked them to help us put our sarongs and sashes on correctly. People are predictably friendly and helpful there. These temples are not impressive. Most temples here aren't. They tend to have few or no statues. There's really no focal point as in most temples and shrines. The main thing they provide is bale or platforms for ceremony or storing things and sitting on during a ceremony and tables and shrines for offerings made of palm leaves with flowers. They're stacked up and lying all over. Gregory said it looked like a bunch of litter and trash but no - it's all offerings.
The other day Nyoman drove me to an Indomaret to pay the CBN bill - for wifi and cable. He stopped to turn into the parking lot but a customer pulled up from the other side and parked sideways across three space, got out and went in. Nyoman sat there with his blinker on waiting as cars went around us. The man came out with some drink, got in his car, and rather than take off, sat there and sipped his drink. Nyoman honked once. No response. After a bit Nyoman honked again. Finally the man took off. Nyoman never got impatient or angry though he did agree with me that the guys was being awfully thoughtless. Think what sort of responses that thoughtless driver would have gotten in America from people wanting to park there.
Today Mudik installed a small pressure tank so the pump won't start every time we draw a little bit of water. That took him a couple of hours. I asked him if 100,000 rupiah would be ok as payment and he said, as usual, "up to you." My wallet was empty, I started to look for Katrinka's purse then the bell at the gate was struck. Katrinka said it was Joko with an envelope for her. There was 100,000 rupiah in it. I handed it to Mudik.
Something that is similar between my experience in Japan three decades ago and here in Bali is that in both cases, we first had these lovely roundish soup spoons and then when we got more spoons, they were less roundish regular old oval soup spoons. I never ceased to regret that we didn't get more of same type of spoon in Japan and I think about that here too daily as I deal with spoons daily. The difference is that in Japan I did not know why I was so pleased and drawn to the more roundish spoons. I realized why one day while visiting my mother in Texas and finding my round silver baby spoon. I remember looking at it and realizing - oh - that's why. And yesterday I remembered that again for the first time here - and had the same epiphiny redux. Oh yes - that's why. I remember now.
A motorscooter rode up. Begore it had stopped. Dogette Bandita started barking and ran to the gate to protect us against invasion. I knew it was Kadek. It was time for her to arrive. Bandi never barks at Kadek. Kadek is one of three locals she gets excited and jumps up on and wags her tail and walks with her. Once the motorscooter was turned off, Bandi stopped barking and ran over to where the gate opens. Guess she smelled somone familiar. Kadek came in and after we'd greeted each other said, "I rode a different motorbike today."
Not the strike busting kind of scabs. The other day I was remembering how when I was a kid, I'd fall down and skin my knees, usually just one knee, often bad enough for it to bleed and a scab to form. Sometimes an elbow or two. Once I had a spill on my little red bike I called Beelzebub where I slid on asphalt with gravel and got scabs on both elbows and both knees. I was remembering those chapters in my life fondly and I wondered how long it had been since I'd had a scab. I couldn't remember the last time. It almost seemed like they can only happen to a kid.