What makes one feel whole?
What will so deeply satiate one, enough so that their soul hungers for nothing?
Bali, or the Bali that I saw, Ubud and Canggu, is spilling over with tourists who are hungry. Hungry for spiritual awakening. Hungry for white water. Hungry for beauty, fitness, quiet, parties, sex, oblivion, organic vegan smoothie bowls.
I travel to stimulate my mind, I think. I travel because I’m drugged with curiosity about the world and all the languages, mountain ranges, and food it carries.
But to fill my soul?
I think going home fills my soul.
Home, of course, does not just exist in Denver, Colorado on the corner of 14th and Adams where I grew up. It exists in my pen scribbling over the pages of a journal. It exists in my mother’s voice over WeChat. It exists in the faces of the friends I’ve grown to trust here, it exists in live music (eyes closed), honest conversation – it exists in the glimmering stars over Bali as it exists in the crackling summer lightning in the Rockies, and it exists in Chinese dumplings as it does in New York Bagels.
Is that familiarity? That sense of home that fills my soul? Is it love – that ephemeral, undefinable, movement – … ?
Moving across the world all by myself and traveling alone leaves a lot of space for exploring and defining what heals my soul. Bali was a gift of yoga, stories, sunsets, and yes, organic vegan smoothie bowls. I am still hungry. But, maybe, I’m getting closer to being at peace with the hunger. Today, I accept with effervescent compassion my broken human heart and my clumsy search for its repair. I cannot always be home in this life. But I can always be present in this life, hungry or not.
Bali poems below.
– The third I wrote when I was hungover. Please take its cynicism with a grain of salt – I overall had an amazing, inspiring time! –
Eating in the Quiet
Today I eat lunch in an Oasis and
The sound of
Gets thick in my skull
I am not afraid anymore
Of writing badly
Of running out of love
This smoothie tastes like crushed ice
I need calories
More than calories I need love
And love that is greater than just a quick smack of eyes on my body –
I need someone to see my insides
Trash at 4pm collects on the shore
A 28-year-old plastic water bottle
I get sick from swallowing the Indian ocean
Shreds my lungs, makes my arms spasm with pain
Laced around that skyrocketing surfboard
“Go into the ocean to remember how powerless you are” and
We walk up the side of a black volcano,
Surrounded by lukewarm night, the sound would be silent except for
The long line of drunken American Fratboys, everyone’s butts,
Heat waves the air from
Noon to Three everything feels
Tattoos & bare skin I
Wanted to say this place was
Beautiful but I
Got sick off the trash in the water