Surrounded by volcanoes spewing noxious fumes into a crystalline sky, temple complexes devoted to monkey gods, elephant gods, original flying buddhas; on a gamelan island, in a bracelet of islands, between two oceans, between the rising and the setting of the awful sun - what do I do? Me, what do I do? Haunted by spirits of ancient tree dwellers, terrace cutters, puppet dancers; spirits in smoke, in shadow, in rice fields and rivers and tumbling waterfalls - me, what do I do?
Sometimes I am gripped by nostalgia. When I pass the little bars full of revellers, when I see travellers from distant lands moving dreamily through the markets, when I wake in the afternoon to the sounds of honking horns and roaring engines, and the rapid confusion of the moment evaporates into empty space leaving me face to face with a hard, forbidding reality which threatens to crunch me into dust and rubble, my stomach churns and my mind reels and my heart bubbles with a want for what has long since past me by. If I reach forty it will be a miracle.
Me, what do I do?
Perhaps the winding alleys lead to a temple where I can finally rest. Perhaps if I give myself over to my obsessions completely, lose myself in the vibrant daydreams which well up from my heart while the gamelan sounds relentlessly, relentlessly, perhaps then I will find a paradise that is more than just a momentary figment, an illusion of song and smoke.