#GettingIntoHotWater #gratitude #gratitudediaries #gratitudegrows #NovemberGratitude #WhatYouAppreciateAppreciates #WaterIsLife
Fact: every day contains annoying things. Lately it seems extra full of heart-wrenching things. But the reality that I live in a place where I have not only clean water to drink, but HOT FLOWING WATER that comes right out of my tap whenever I want to wash dishes or take a bath? I feel like I should “laugh like I’ve got gold mines / Diggin’ in my own back yard.”* Today I’d like to think about this blessing (the ease and affordability of WATER in my life) as a counter-spell to the annoying and terrible things. Like, not only is my water situation NOT compounding the bad, it actually has the power to relieve it. It multiplies the good. I think of the oceans and lakes and rivers that I’ve been so lucky to see and jump into and surf and float on and on… water is a literally a conduit for power, and it happens to live both inside and outside of us. Water is so much more than water. Today, whenever I come into contact with water, I’m going to try and remember today’s object of gratitude.
*from the poem, "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou
Indonesia, Random Decisions, and the Art of Aloneness
#Indonesia #AloneAndConnected #BahasaIndonesia #SendiriSendirian #Sulawesi #gratitude #gratitudediaries #gratitudegrows #ThankinOfYou #NovemberGratitude #WhatYouAppreciateAppreciates
When I think of places for which I am grateful, I think of Indonesia—a country where I’ve spent at least a couple of years cumulatively, and still barely scratched the surface of its diverse array of people and islands. Like all my best life decisions, the choice to go there was made pretty much at random.
I knew I wanted to go somewhere totally beyond my imagination. I thought that would be India, and I could study (and hoard) a cache of beautiful fabrics (in college I was minoring in Fiber Arts—yes that's a thing). But the alphabetically-ordered university study abroad catalog had something called “Indonesia” instead. I saw that there was beautiful fabric made there—the birthplace of batik, and ancient weaving techniques. I earned a fellowship to go. I studied its charming, playful language, Bahasa Indonesia, which lets you roll your r’s for days if you want, and simply repeat words to make them plural.
Arriving in the East Java town of Malang, I remember one of the “culture” lessons we received, about walking alone. We were told that people will ask, “Are you alone?” and that the root word for alone, “sendiri,” essentially means the same as “lonely.” So if you tell people you are “sendiri,” they might assume you want company. You WILL be asked for tea—sugary, sugary tea or coffee with ginger—and you will not know when the social visit will end, and it will be hard to get out of politely.
Willing to experience aloneness,
Traveler. Baker. Beauty Seeker. Hiker. Paper Ephemera Collector. Sharpie Lover. Etch-A-Sketch Artist. Mondegreen (Misheard Lyric) Connoisseur. Public Space Ninja. Nickname Giver.