Reflection & Genuflection

by Mark Ulyseas

In Gethsemane: Transcripts of a Journey

“I am the mother that gives birth, nurtures and buries its young. I am eternal. The folds of my sarong are the emerald rice fields. I suckle the sad, nourish the hungry, embrace lonely souls searching for love, bless those who worship me and protect all who live within me. I am adorned with offerings everyday and honored with incense. I am serenaded with music made from instruments that are carved from wood taken from holy trees and metal gongs molded from five metals. And on one day every year my children stay in their homes never treading across my fertile plains in silent obeisance to my command.

I am, to my children, Goddess Bali.
Excerpt from – Chants of Goddess Bali by mark ulyseas

Close your eyes raise your hands up to the sky and trudge through a flooded rice field. Trip, fall and smell the raw earth. Untangle your feet from the clinging mud, get up and carry on walking towards the mangoes trees in the distance – This is what one did not too long ago on a moonlit night. In the days that followed something stirred within and awakened me to the benign presence of Goddess Bali. Since then, I dream… dream of serenity amidst the paradox-strewn paradise, for every so often visions enhance a perception of all the goodness that was and is in her.

Sadly times are a changing for in the wake of progress has followed the debris of human excess: plastic, pollution and sterile prosperity. We are being seduced by the color of motorization and monetarization and an urgent need to possess that transcends reason.

Reality is becoming unreasonable.

My friends, children of the Goddess, tell me not to be afraid, to live each day laying floral tributes at her feet and to seek her protection. They assure me that this rampaging development shall soon pass for She will take back all that has been removed from her house. She will restore her home to what it was, pristine placidness. She will gently hold the hands of the prodigals and guide them back onto the path of Tri Hita Karana. And she will destroy all those who vandalize her home and steal her treasures.

It has been overhead in warungs frequented by visitors from far off lands of instant karma that strikes all those who trample on her dreams. Some outsiders dwell among her children wearing masks of karma mechanics, yogis, teachers, students, tarot card readers and more. These harmless well meaning people help in creating a more palatable present, one of harmony and peace as if to compensate for the ravaging hordes of their brethren who desecrate the home of the Goddess with ugliness in dress, word and deed.

And there are others that form the matrix of age-old traditions, a dwindling species that cling precariously to ritual bound ceremonies and family unions that to the cultureless appear to be stifling. But this is not so for it is in these daily rhythms that sense is made out of insensibility.

I dream of the day when I awake to the sound of cowbells and silence – not the rumbling of motorcycles…

I dream of the day when I awake to the aroma of cempaka and not that of petrol fumes…

I dream of the day when I awake to laughter not sadness and want.

The Goddess has given us the strength to dream. It is this gift that soothes our tortured souls and rejuvenates our lives.

Let us continue to dream our dreams for without them how can we travel between Sekala and Niskala and be one with Goddess Bali.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

©Mark Ulyseas
March 04, 2010

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