What a day! One of the best days ever. God has a funny way of doing things. Just when I am about to leave this place, he shows me the best time ever. =) Maybe it means I am meant to come back again!
I was going to write all about this ridiculously amazing massage that I had today – so incredibly sensual and beautiful and mind-blowingly good. The draft post read something like this:
I found the most wonderful spa today. An hour and a half massage costs 15 USD. My masseuse sent shivers up and down my body the entire time. A sensual massage is a rare thing to find and what a blessing it was. The entire time on that table, I felt delicate, precious, human. And I’d like to add that sensual is not the same thing as sexual. Sensuality is about the senses: the touch, smell, temperature of things. It is of the body, it is tactile, it is raw. Lying on the table I thought to myself, “Human beings are meant to touch each other this way. This is an act of giving, an act of pure pleasure for the other person.” To be touched so delicately but with the firmness and control of experienced hands was incredibly intoxicating. I became aware of my body – shapes and contours, hardness and softness, and all the places where tension has collected. The heat of the afternoon, the spirituality of the place, the music and the touch – all of it left me feeling lightheaded, jubilant and thankful.
And I ranted on and about about the sensuality of things. Well, I went back for a second massage tonight (because yes it was just that good) and at the end of it, the guy asked me out. Flattering? A bit, but it basically nixes the whole ‘sensual not being sexual’ thing, nulls the validity of my original post and once again highlights my naivety. I laughed the whole walk to dinner about how clueless I can be sometimes. And instead of being deep and meaningful, the post just ended up sounding funny to me! In hindsight, I could feel weirded out about the whole thing, but honestly, it was just so good that I don’t even care. I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care. I am so full of endorphins that it doesn’t even matter.
Anyway, so the rest of the day continued to be just as great. I decided that instead of bargaining at the market for cheap souvenirs and stressing myself out in the process (sometimes, I am just not in the mood to haggle and would really rather just give someone my credit card), I went and purchased high-quality locally made products instead. I shopped for great silks and beautiful jewelry in pretty stores with fantastic service. Sometimes the experience counts for a lot. I felt good about spending the money on good craftsmanship and handmade products instead of supporting the big factory that is mass-producing cheap pashminas from China.
And then I met a fellow Canadian just walking down the road, a guy from Victoria who is traveling through Indonesia until the Vancouver Olympics begin, at which point he will go back to work in Whistler for BC Transport. So nice to meet another Canadian! We talked about Nepal and India and Thailand and Everest Base Camp and diving and manta rays coming up from the great big deep.
And then I went to this bar where a live reggae band was playing. A guy from the audience played his harmonica and then another guy rapped in what should have been English but I’m not really sure and all the while, a bunch of 80+ year old women were dancing on stage. They managed to get the whole restaurant up and dancing on this random Sunday night in warm beautiful Bali. Cheap drinks, a sticky humid evening and cheesy rainbow lights reflecting off the restaurant disco ball. So wonderful.
It hasn’t rained in three days, I went for a dip in the pool (it is gorgeous, in the middle of rice paddies), I walked for about 6 hours all around town and now I’m sweaty and happy and tired and getting ready to head to the airport at 3 AM for my flight to Kuala Lumpur.
I keep remembering what my Mom said to me months and months ago: It is best to leave a place loving it. Leave on a high.
Well Mama, you’re so right! I am leaving Ubud on a really great high and can’t wait to come back!
This place has been so good for my body and my soul. Such gorgeous humbling beauty. Such sensual humid heat. Such a great place to heal, to love, to become new. It is still wild and authentic and unspoiled and I’m blessed to have had the chance to see it this way. I hope it never changes because I will definitely be back.