Bali Soul Journals

Bali Soul Journals


Bali Soul Journals

Clare McAlaney and Trish McNeill

Creatavision Publishing, 2015

I imagine Murni in 1960, pigtails flying as she squeals with excitement dodging dogs and other bicycles on her travels through Bali. A farmer turns and smiles as she holds up a golden hand that stretches upwards to a cloudless, sapphire blue sky.

Back home, her mother stands before a temple in the shade of a banyan tree, as the gamelan echoes over the hills of Ubud. She has an offering in her hand and she bows her head towards it, gently wafting the smoke of the incense toward the temple.

Murni chats with the weavers who make a healthy living from the visits of a teenage girl. Later, the aroma of roasted pig brings people shuffling quickly in bare feet to her village. Amidst the chatter of women, she will help prepare the intricate baskets that carry offerings for the gods. The balance in Bali of mind, body and spirit is given a place in time and a reverence that is symbolised by the tok tok tok sound of the wooden kulkul coming from the temple.

I watch her with my mind’s eye as she grows into a beautiful young woman with the experience of a trader and the courage of an explorer.

Her village gratefully transforms to accommodate a growing number of visitors.

It opens its centre, and quietly, and with more speed, they come. As money flows from the hands of tourists to outstretched brown palms, life begins to change, needs begin to change. Education – maths, language, hospitality – becomes a priority.

And I see Murni today, a graceful lady with hair that has long since turned white, and smooth cheeks that ripple when she laughs. I see her painful image of an island being lost to gold, and sit down at my desk and begin to type.

Excerpt from Journal XIV: The Spirit of Bali, Bali Soul Journals

Bali Souls Journals is available for sale from Murni’s Waung Shop.


Bali Soul Journals