Bali - profound words from a medicine man

Bali - profound words from a medicine man

 

Bali. 

Who hasn’t seen Eat Pray love starring Julia Roberts? 

Ok, perhaps you have read Elizabeth’s Gilbert genius and marveled at how she works the words on the page. 

Or maybe you have danced to Martha and the muffins classic – Echo beach? 

So, Bali.

The place of Javier Bardem (carrying on the movie reference) and meditation, of carefree evenings of Ketut. 

I had the good fortune of working in Perth Australia for a while and Bali was what Magaluf was to us Europeans. A trashy holiday cheap destination (sorry all lovers of Magaluf).  

A friend and I booked up to stay in a villa and jumped on the 3-hour flight and instantly displaced ourselves into the Love chapters of the novel.  

I wasn’t aware of how much I needed to relax until I landed there. And we felt as if we hadn’t been truly breathing. The spirits of yoga and meditation retreats have clearly left some sort of energy in the wind. I loved the place. 

The smiles of the people are overwhelming, it really does make your heart smile. 

You would travel through different suburbs of artists, jewelers, sculptors – beauty was all around us. 

Kudeta is THE place to see the sunset over a cocktail – or 2 or 3.   

Whilst there, I had a constant itch (over and above the mosquitos)– I wanted to meet Ketut. 

Ketut was the medicine man who Liz Gilbert worked with, learnt from and meditated with in her time in Bali. 

Through some investigation, it became apparent that we could actually have the opportunity of meeting with him. 

Off. The. Scale. 

The day of the Ketut visit, was about 45 degrees and as we walked into this huge temple we had to take a ticket from a machine that reminded me of the deli counters in a supermarket. 

References to Eat Pray Love littered the compound, pictures of Liz and Julia and you could see Ketut was a bit of a local celebrity.  

We had to wait in a long line. 

We waited for hours. 

Some sunburn, a few mosquito bites, 5 bottles of water later and we had an audience with this extraordinary man. 

As we walked towards the temple I really did feel that this was going to be a defining moment for me. 

It was for Liz (and Julia) so it would be for us too – right? 

As we sat down cross legged in front of the toothless grin of this (at least) 105 year old man he reached for my hand. 

Everything stopped. 

I held my breath. 

“White woman?”

“Yes?” I actually leaned forward. 

 “ I … need to pee” 

And so this medicine man left me to go to his cubicle and, well, pee (and perhaps some other ablutions whilst he was in there - in a not too quiet fashion!). 

It was life defining and we belly laughed for some time afterwards. 

In other news, I am going to live until I am 105, write books and be very successful. 

I’ll take that! 

 

(I also got a very rude offer from Ketut but that’s another story..)

 

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