Hello Stranger (finale): Bali, Indonesia

“i have always thought that each version of a story is better than the one before. how does one know, then, which is the final version? in the same way the cook knows when the soup is ready, this is a trade secret that does not obey the laws of reason, but the magic of instinct. [it] will be like the joy of coming home.” ~gabriel garcia marquez. prologue, strange pilgrims.

i never write things like this when i am happy. sadness, clearly, is a vice i wouldn’t let go of because it feeds my creativity. but i know i cannot dwell on sadness alone.

_______________________________________________

as the arrival doors open, i saw you standing there, steadfast.

it was a moment i shall hold in my hands. even as we tread the sands of kuta and sanur, i made sure i held your eyes while my fingers twined with yours. even as we greet the sunrise in candi dasa and watch as the light dim over the mountains in amed, your stare was carefully tucked in the folds of my palms while your arms were wrapped around me. even as we ride with the dolphins in lovina and drown in art in ubud, the vision of you standing there and steadfast was bracing my shoulders while we sat in silence.

and the sight of you behind the departure gates was where my aloneness stopped and my loneliness began…

too long have i been without to understand the feeling of being with.

the world is harsh and i needed to be unbreakable. above all else, i needed to survive. and so i became a shell instead of skin that breathes freely, that falls deeply, that bears all.

but your hands are kindness, your eyes forgiving.

i feel myself unravelling before you and i am naked and i am ashamed and i am voiceless and i am darkness and i am fearful and i am water and you are the barrier that breaks my tide. to rest on the banks of your shoulder shall be the joy of coming home.

i see the road and i know i still have a long way to go. but i can promise you one thing when i get there, finally…

i shall love you defenseless…

_______________________________________________

for RB who taught me that the world is not calloused after all, but soft as his lips, and gentle as his fingers trace the outlines of my soul.

the world is calm my almost beloved. it is as tender as your kiss…

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25 Comments
  • lakwatsera de primera

    February 14, 2011 at 2:20 am

    What a great series! love the finale too “I shall love you defenseless ” amen 🙂

  • Ed

    February 14, 2011 at 2:26 am

    i never write things like this when i am happy. sadness, clearly, is a vice i wouldn’t let go of because it feeds my creativity — amen to that!

    sometimes, to inspire me to write, i pop in a depressing song to keep the words flowing and set me in the mood. — ano ba yan, masokista masyado ang dating ko. naghahanap ng pasakit. haha

  • flip'n travels

    February 14, 2011 at 2:35 am

    @lakwatsera: thanks for following the series. there is a happy ending at the end of the road after all… 😀 hihi!

  • flip'n travels

    February 14, 2011 at 2:36 am

    @ed: true that! minsan, i feel really really stupid forcing myself to cry just to write… masochist nga tayong mga nagsusulat! argh!

  • Jozef Maxted

    February 14, 2011 at 2:49 am

    This is great, you’re obviously very talented writer!

  • doi

    February 14, 2011 at 4:03 am

    ” so i became a shell instead of skin that breathes freely, that falls deeply, that bears all” – very well said and i can relate.

    ganda ng pagkakasulat! bow down ako 😀

    i really enjoyed following your series and can’t wait for the next one! 😉

  • flip'n travels

    February 14, 2011 at 4:25 am

    @josef: thank you and thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  • flip'n travels

    February 14, 2011 at 4:26 am

    @doi: everyone gets hardened by bad experience, but who says we can’t emerge from that? 😀

    thanks very much for following the series… ron and i will think of another “special” haha!

  • Christian | Lakad Pilipinas

    February 14, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Fantastic writing, perfect way to cap off the series.

  • jade

    February 14, 2011 at 8:09 am

    new to the series, but love the last couple of lines. beautiful!

  • inka

    February 14, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    A fitting finale. Oh yes, you had me glued.

  • Rease

    February 14, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Nice post, I like the style. Sadness is often a great inspiration for writing. I like to think of it as a bonus. If you have to be sad, at least some great writing can come of it.

  • flip'n travels

    February 14, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    @christian: thanks much! this is the cherry on top of the cake… 🙂

  • flip'n travels

    February 14, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    @jane: thank you! i think you caught the series at its best… 😀

  • flip'n travels

    February 14, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    @inka: thank you for following the series! we really appreciate it! 😀

  • flip'n travels

    February 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    @rease: thanks! i couldn’t agree more with what you said. cheers to sadness and for whatever we can milk it for! 😀

  • Christy @ Ordinary Traveler

    February 15, 2011 at 2:34 am

    Beautiful words! I’m so glad it was a happy ending for you!

  • flip'n travels

    February 15, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    @Christy, thank you, indeed it was a happy ending!

  • Laurel

    February 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Beautifully written and like Christy, glad there was a happy ending for you.

  • flip'n travels

    February 16, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    @laurel: thanks laurel! >_<

  • peppyvagabond

    May 31, 2011 at 1:54 am

    “i feel myself unravelling before you and i am naked and i am ashamed and i am voiceless and i am darkness and i am fearful and i am water and you are the barrier that breaks my tide.” — this is beautiful. I feel weak and nostalgic reciting this in my head over and over. Oh gahd. beautiful sadness.

  • flip'n travels

    June 9, 2011 at 5:22 am

    @peppyvagabond: sweet! thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  • Gita

    April 29, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Nice article, dude. Maybe http://www.jakpost.travel could be a good recommendation for you to find and explore another interesting destinations in Indonesia…

  • Juan Knows

    March 1, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    I just gasped for air after reading all these lines. I must have forgotten how it felt like to find that serenity from someone else for too long now. MORE SERIES please!!!

  • flipntravels

    March 2, 2014 at 5:22 am

    that’s one reason why we travel, to elicit that feeling. hehehe thanks

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