When I let her, the wise part of me (Judith) is graceful at soothing high emotions and sorting out the crux of an issue. She knows it takes time to let things boil up, but she can always get the tea leaves to settle out. Once all these wily parts of me feel acknowledged and heard, my internal strife calms enough to allow the waters to clear.
I know I need to release my clammy death grip on that slippery fish, “success”. I fear if I enjoy this trip too much, I’ll lose the edge that allowed me to achieve a measure of “success” in my last land-life. But, we all know “success” is a far more nuanced target than can be measured by money, respect, material possessions, or even relationships with family and friends. Success is a moving target, with dimensions that open and unfold over the course of our lifetime.
I take some of the lessons I’ve been tucking into my pockets like seashells along our route and lay them out on the table:
The Tongan’s ease and joy at watching the sun set over the sea.
Bali’s offerings and ceremonies of gratitude for everything from their spouses, their business, their car, all the way down to anything helpful made of metal.
Indonesia’s philosophy of “Hati Senang” which means "Happy Heart" and in practice means the choice to keep a happy heart no matter what, an idea that even our challenges bring wisdom, happiness, and future strength if we keep a proper attitude.
My Guru Wayan’s commentary that everything in life is a double edged sword, all must be balanced.
I realize my relationship with the future is a double edge sword, one side being “control of my destiny” through my use planning, discipline, effort, and the opposing side being “going with the flow.” I realize I must balance these two mindsets: use the edge with planning and control when I am called to accomplish something specific and swing the blade to the side of flow when I am not. It is like the Polynesians who “wayfind” their sailing paths through the South Pacific by sensing the water temperature, current and wind direction, star position, and animals present wherever they are in a particular moment. Observing the details of where I am right now can take me somewhere beautiful and new, too.
Furthermore, I realize proper wayfinding requires both gratitude and Hati Senang to work well. These are the practices required to harness positive momentum. We all know how momentum works: an object in motion stays in motion, an object at rest stays at rest. If momentum is established in one direction, I am far more likely to continue moving in that direction than going elsewhere. Therefore, if I focus on “rising above challenges” I will see more challenges from which I must rise. On the other hand, if I live inside a loving, grateful, happy heart, I will see growth and opportunity everywhere. I will minimize the energy challenges take from me when they come. I will build my momentum from life’s gifts. I know that would be better.
These, and other ideas, brighten, fill me with warmth, two at a time, ten at a time. “It’s all connected, everything is connected! I see it now.” I marvel. For the briefest moment, I see a picture of truth, but like a constellation of stars on the canvas of my night watch, the image dissolves into random dots in a sea of more dots. No matter, I’ve seen them once; like light exposure on raw film.
I’m standing in Grin, reaching to tie him up to Sonrisa’s deck cleat when the bottom drops out from under me. “Holy moly!” I say to Andrew.
“What?” He says, looking around Grin and Sonrisa for terrifying sea life.
“No, nothing. I just realized how cool it is to exist today.”
He smiles and blinks at me, like he does, then “I’ve been trying to tell you this for a while.”
We go out for another Crab lunch. We enjoy happy hour with two other sailboats at a restaurant on the beach where a band of guitar and percussionists play live music for us. They sing, but their Indonesian to English translation is a little…off. They spy us in the crowd and wave us over “Come sing, come sing. Do you know a song?” Apparently, they are not just a band, they are a live music karaoke band.
Andrew volunteers me for the group, and despite myself, I really do like to sing a tune sometimes. So, we try to match something from my repertoire to something in theirs until we strike on Zombie, by the Cranberries.
“WHATS IN YOUR HEEEAAAAAD, IN YOUR HEEEEYYYEEEAAADDD, ZOMBIE ZOMBIE ZOM-BEY-AY-AY-AY….”
Yeah, that was a good night. But, the best is yet to come, The full blood moon lunar eclipse is scheduled for tonight, we are supposed to be able to see totality from our location, and I’m a stones throw away from a fantastic white sand beach perfectly located to photograph the moon setting over the anchorage.
“Are we really getting up at 3:00 a.m. to see the moon?” Andrew asks, doubtful, knowing that I’m a real BEAR to wake up at three in the morning. It’s already midnight, and we’ve stayed out far later than planned due to my karaoke performance.
“Yes, yes we are. Or at least I am, you don’t have to come.” I say as I work to gather extra data cards, batteries, tripod (Thank you Mike Bernard for that gift!), camera, chair, blanket, etc. etc. “I hope it isn’t too cloudy.”
We set our alarm and catch a few hours of sleep.
I wake up first, answer the alarm and peek my head out. The eclipse is already well on its way, a strange red tint lights the anchorage. “Come on! Let’s go!” I tell Andrew. “If we don’t hurry I think we might miss the full eclipse.” Andrew shuttles me over to the beach and I set everything up, take my test shots, adjust the exposure, and wait.
I’m comfy in my chair, a blanket over my lap, my toes in the night-cold sand. Tiny wavelets lap at the beach, adding a lopping song to my atmosphere. There isn’t a breath of wind, or a cloud in the sky. As the moon grows darker, the stars brighter, Mars a sparkling red diamond just to the left of that strange, blood red moon.
“Wow,” I can feel awe run down my spine in little shivers of electricity. In the moment my awe settles deep into my gut, an astroid shoots across the anchorage and burns itself to smoke. “Oaaawwwwwhhhhh!” Andrew and I exclaim in unison. I make a deeply longed for wish on that one. It’s bound to come true!
As the eclipse nears totality, I begin shuttering the camera. “Go stand in front over there,” I tell Andrew. “You’ll look nice for scale. To the right, to the right, no! Too much, back left a titch…there” I take a few photographs. Sonrisa looks good, Andrew looks good, the anchorage looks great, Indonesia, the stars, Mars, and of course that full, blood moon. What amazing luck I have.