zondag 8 december 2013

Dream or Reality (21)
Open doors

“Making a superfluous statement is often called kicking in an open door, probably inappropriate in Bali, where all doors are used to be open,” is my opening remark in the direction of our dear friends Tu Kodok, the frog and Tu Tokeh, the gecko, as usual at this moment of the night sitting in front of us on the edge of the window in our fairylike room in the palace.

“That is true, but why do you say that now?” is Tu Kodok’s reaction.
“Because that is our experience in Bali in general and specially today again. 

The gates, being the entrances to the house compounds are mostly open, giving us the opportunity to get a glimpse of the magnificent gardens. And then it can happen we are invited to come inside, encouraging to make pictures.”

“Yes and then they show the children, to whom the parents are so proud and we make pictures of them too. After which we promise to come back next year to deliver the photographs. In this way, many friendships in Bali have been started,” Fifi takes over.

“And so we also arrived in this palace. The doors were open and we walked carefully inside, expecting any moment that someone would stop us. We admired the beautiful garden and the art deco ornaments, already taking many pictures. 

Then suddenly a friendly young man was standing in front of us. He introduced himself as a member of the staff and immediately led us to the head of the royal family and his son. 

They offered us coffee, we had a nice conversation and they urged us to stay for the night. So our relation started, we came back many times and so we are now sitting on our bed talking to you.

But returning to my opening remark: This morning we walked out of the palace for a little stroll, accompanied by the prince.
Our attention was attracted by a big tree, in which hundreds of small parrot-like birds were making a deafening sound. Coming more close we noticed a beautiful gate. Curious as always we looked around the corner. But the prince made it clear that going inside was not of any problem.

We have seen many house compounds or temples, but this one struck everything.

We passed again a gate which was the entrance to a narrow bridge leading over a pond, dividing it in two parts, with in each part many red and white lotusses. In the middle of the right one an elegant Saraswati statue. 

At the sides strange komodoro-like statues. And sculptures of cobras, their long bodies cycling up, with threatening heads.

A happy jumping frog on the concrete floor of the bridge looked at us and made the sign that he wanted to escort us.”
“One of my family over there!” Tu Kodok enthusiastically reacts, almost falling down of the window of pleasure.

“Yes, his whole attitude was similar to yours and he led us straight into a balé in which a remarkable man with soft friendly eyes was sitting, his legs crossed in meditation posture. 
The round face like that of a Chinese Happy Buddha, I estimated his age round the fifty. The black hair pulled back in a bun gathered at the back of his head. His brown torso bare. The only garment a white sarong.

‘I was waiting for you,’ were his welcoming words. At the same time the only words he would say in English, because he continued in Bahasa or Balinese to the prince. 

Apparently they knew each other. I heard him say mimpi, which in sound is very close to Fifi. So Fifi at first thought that he was mentioning her name and was surprised of course. 

‘Mimpi means dream,’ translated our prince. ‘He already saw you in his dream.’

The prince explained that the Happy Buddha in front of us is considered as a very holy man and people come from far to ask his advice. And if we should have a question we also can ask.

Fifi came up to the idea to ask about the lost cell phone: ‘This morning Hans came to the conclusion that he lost his cell phone somewhere the day before. So I tried to reach him with my phone, but no ringing sound was heard, so we gave it up.’

I saw the holy man nodding when the prince was translating.

Then I heard a ringing sound. It came out of my bag behind me. It came from deep down. And there it was: My cell phone. 

I was very surprised of course and looked at the number which was shown on the screen, an unknown number. When I looked up again I looked right in the round face of the Buddha, whith a smile from ear to ear, with close to his right ear a cell phone. 

He was calling me!!! But how does he know my number?

And ‘why,’ I said, ‘we did not hear it when Fifi was calling my number this morning?’

‘Because you were blocked, your mind was blocked, that can happen,’ the prince translated the words of the holy man.
And he continued: ‘It is a lesson, keep your mind open ... as the doors in Bali.’”

I look at the window in front of us, our two animal friends are silently gone, just like that, as always, until tomorrow.

Dream or Reality?
See for more stories www.ubudcommunity.com under "blogs" Hans Smeekes

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