When I am writing my novel back in Boston, I close my eyes, breathe deeply, and remember the feelings I had twenty years ago when I was here in Bali. The sights, the smells, the sounds, the textures, the immense peace I felt back then – it all comes back to me as if it were yesterday. It helps me to write with a real sense of presence, as if I were really there.
Imagine the overwhelming sensations I’m feeling now. I’m actually here. It’s not just a memory. I’m on a porch, just like twenty years ago, overlooking sublime rice fields and tropical views. I’m hearing the birds and the whistles of the workers in the rice fields. I’m watching a family of ducks balancing their way along the edge of the rice paddies. I see more shades of green than Crayola could ever conjure up.
The porch. It was the center stage of life when I stayed at Happy II in 1992. We ate there, we hung out, we read and wrote, we played guitar and drank iced tea. Our porch here, I have to say, is even more magnificent. So many memories come flooding back to me while I’m sitting here on our magnificent porch.
There is so much I want to write about but there are only so many hours in a day.