Many among us are drawn to the lamp of excess…loud, flashy and pointless. The urgency to be seen, heard and in some cases felt is the rule rather than the exception.
On the periphery of the bright lights exists a reality that has sustained itself when all have gone to seed – the contentment that follows the celebration of the little things in life.
Like a quiet walk down a crowded street observing the shenanigans of humanity in the throes of self-indulgence without immersing oneself in the mindlessness.
Like the warmth of a Nasi Campur, packed in a banana leaf, bought from a small wayside outlet. The aroma permeating the air around.
Like listening to the gentle breathing of one’s pet dog as he lies across your feet.
Like the sound of a mosquito waiting to penetrate your aura. And you waiting expectantly to smack it between your palms.
Like the aroma of kopi Bali wafting from the glass in your hand as you sit on the rocky beach watching the fishing boats return, illuminated by a rising sun.
Like eating Babi Guling with your hands, breaking the succulent pieces and popping them into your mouth with rice, followed by a liberal dose of Arak, whilst sitting cross legged on the ground. And then, when the feast is over, to lie down and dose off to the rhythm of a fan, its blades slicing the still air.
Like reading a book under a lamp on a monsoon night… the smell of paper and fresh earth mingling with that of frangipani.
Or munching on boiled salted peanuts.
Or marvelling at the soft pink petals of a lotus flower as they fall in the wind.
Many among us ignore the little things in life and in doing so forget our humaneness. And when despair and death come knocking we suddenly become aware of the sound of a butterfly’s wings.
But by then, it is too late.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om
© Mark Ulyseas