Journey, In viaggio col dolore


Of that summer, after the mega party of my 40 years, I don't remember much. I know that I could not stop and stay in meditation because an unbearable pain used to arise.
Luckily I had planned a trip. I wanted to leave.
As a destination, I chose Bali, the Indonesian island, remembering the fascinating stories told by some friends who spent in the early 80s a lot of time on the island.
 Someone gave me the address of a beautiful 'Pondok,' a resort located in a not too touristy location, a destination mainly for European, American, and Australian traders who went there to buy fabrics, furniture, and products handicrafts and local painting.
I bought a guide and invited my dear friend Caterina to accompany me. Shared by the same tastes and cultural interests, we would undoubtedly have had more fun visiting a Balinese temple, yet another! Rather than going to discos or clubs.
We used to have sumptuous breakfasts with exotic fruits and every good thing. Of all the trips I made, those are the most delicious breakfasts I have tasted so far, in the shade of large exotic trees, near the sea.
In the two weeks of the Balinese holiday, we took the rhythm of visiting a temple every other day, accompanied by our trusted driver, who was running around the whole island. He drove near green rice fields or along narrow streets often invaded by chickens, and now and then his head fell from a typical slam of sleep! But we were not afraid! How many laughs!
The spirituality, linked to the cult of the elements of Nature and the ancestors, intrigued me very much.
After all, the hugely varied landscapes of rare beauty radiated harmony and peace. The way houses were built with natural materials, totally integrated into the scene, surprised me much.
I discovered Feng Shui, the daily cleaning of space.
Balinese every morning, they dust, sweep, and wash their space at home and work - even taxis! Then they practice an offering ritual to their ancestors: a few grains of rice with a small garland of flowers and the scent of incense are more than enough. For the first time, I heard about energy cleansing. I liked that very much.
On the day off, we were in the Pondok, where there was a fabulous swimming pool always deserted, surrounded by trees, flowers, and various temples—a delight. Or we went shopping for fabrics, necklaces, beads, pots, kitchen utensils, and sarongs! 
Nature was everywhere! Plants and saplings interpenetrated our apartment. You opened the front door, and the floor was a green carpet of grass!
I have a beautiful memory of this holiday that gave me the sprint to proceed in my new Genoese life. After so much suffering, I experienced harmony, also spiritual. The healthy food, the holiday atmosphere, the friendship of my friend, the natural and spiritual dimension, the smiles and kindness of the inhabitants, the sun by the pool, the beauty of the Balinese fabrics and art, the massages were a nourishing cure for my body, my mind, and my soul.
 And still, my eyes see all that beauty.
'Beauty walks among us like a young mother, almost intimidated by her glory. Beauty is a force that inspires fear as the storm shakes the earth and the sky below and above us. Beauty is a delicate whisper; it speaks within our spirit; its voice yields to our silences like a faint light that trembles for fear of the shadow. Beauty cries in the mountains, between a beat of wings and a roar of lions. Beauty rises from the east with sunrise. It leans over the earth from the windows of the sunset; it arrives on the hills with spring, dances with autumn leaves, and a puff of snow in your hair. Beauty is not a need but an ecstasy, it is not a thirsty mouth, nor an empty hand stretched forward, but instead has a fiery heart and an enchanted soul. It is not the sap of the wrinkled bark nor a wing attached to a claw. Beauty is a garden always in bloom and a host of angels still in flight. Beauty is life when life is revealed. Beauty is the eternity contemplated in the mirror, and we are eternity and the mirror. "
Kahlil Gibran