Gili Air, Indonesia
To continue my previous thread, as I never really completed my thought: yes, it’s true that I don’t know what I’m going to do when I return to Canada. But what I was planning to get at in my last entry and didn’t, and what I am trying hard to hang on to, is that it’s ok not to know. Being ok with the unknown takes a big heaping dose of something many people, I find, arein short supply of: faith. It’s an incredible concept, faith. It’s maybe a little like sky diving, or quitting a job you hate, or getting out of a bad relationship: avoidance might seem easier than actually going through with it, but if you could just close your eyes and take the leap – man would your life improve tenfold! (ok maybe you’re thinking sky diving won’t improve your life tenfold. But maybe it will. How do you know? In the most famous words of the Gili Islands, (and it applies to all sorts of things), “Never Try Never Know”.) You even have a whole variety of faith options to choose from: faith in yourself. Faith in a higher being. Faith in your family and friends. A combination of all of them. Whatever works for you – as long as you find some kind of faith. I spent most of my teenage and adult life with little to no faith in myself. But I don’t want to talk about that, because it’s behind me. I bought my ticket to the faith party last year and it’s been a real barn-burner ever since. Sure, there are lots of moments when they play a ****** song or run out of punch, but ultimately if I keep on dancing, things always turn around. So that’s where I’m at now. There’s a big pile of unknown staring me in the face. I doubt I could count how many of those there’ve been in the last 14 or so months. Quitting my career. Quitting another job after that. Selling my home. Buying a one-way ticket to some place named Zagreb. etc etc. Each one has required a proverbial leap of faith and at times some really fancy footwork at the dance, but – and here’s the real kicker – it’s all worked out so far! How ’bout that? I pulled my Thelma and Louise move over 365 days ago, and I’m better, stronger, happier and more faith-full than I’ve ever been in my life before. Ever. I just gotta keep on dancing. Gili Air update (or as my mom refers to it, Giligan’s Island): Oh man. Man oh man oh man do I LOVE IT HERE. Is there any place like this on earth? Of course there is, but I haven’t been there yet, so who cares? What a brilliant decision it was to come back to this tiny paradise, this little circle of land stuck out here in the ocean. How smart to begin wrapping up my travelshere. It slows my heartrate (if it could possibly get any slower), it soothes my soul, it touches the centre of my being. The only things that exist here in any vast quantity are horse carts, (adorably misinterpreted as “Oscar” by Fabien) (“Why are they all named Oscar?” so cute!), coconut trees, sand, ocean, and grazing land for cows, goats and chickens. (Once again, that’s all about to change – but I don’t wanna talk about that either. It gets my heartrate up.) Time moves at a glacial pace here and days just magically melt away and blend one into the other. Ask someone how long they’ve been on the island and their eyes kind of glaze over before they reply, “I think 2 days. Or is it 6?” The biggest decision in my day is which direction to take for my morning walk around the island (takes less than an hour to power-walk the whole way ’round), and which little restaurant to choose for my lunch or dinner. The people are lovely, the ocean is warm and crystal clear, the fruit is fresh and the beer is cheap. We haven’t gone fishing yet as the currents haven’t been right (don’t ask me – no clue – I just know that Sam looked up at a tiny crescent of moon in the sky a few nights ago, hanging there like a phosphorescent hammock strung up amid the stars, and said “Oh! Good fishing in a few days!” To know that man can still be so connected with nature is astounding and reassuring.) Meanwhile I have the time and the inclination to marvel at the most seemingly mundane things: the pattern that crystals make inside an ice cube as the water freezes; the correct lyrics to the Jason Mraz song “I’m Yours”; the difference in texture between a young coconut and a mature coconut; how to count to 10 in Indonesian. I’ve offered to take the very sick little resident kitten at my hotel over to Lombok tomorrow to get it some veterinary care, my treat. No clue how much that’ll cost me, but she’s my buddy and I can’t just let her suffer, and nobody else can afford the medicine. So that’s the Gili Air scoop. I’m tanned, I’m happy, I’m relaxed, I’m so so good. I’ve got 12 days left to go. More recent update: so I wrote all that down days ago, but only just now transcribed it to the internet. I am down to only 4 days left, but in a sudden recent epiphany have decided to change my flight, extend my visa and hang out here for a few more weeks! I am just not ready to leave this place, and my new friends here. Besides, we still haven’t gone fishing. 🙂 PS – never did find the vet on Lombok, but got the kitten some vitamins and she’s doing tons better.