"who knows what could have shifted in us" - Dinah T. Roma
"Shiva is responsible for change both in the form of death and destruction and in the positive sense of the shedding of old habits."
Had we come intending to be shriven:
by the view, by thoughts of our own Nyepi -
one silent day clearing space for beginnings;
or once every lifetime, the procession
barefoot, from mountain to sea
readying the soul for transformation?
Had we known the lessons turn again
to leaving, we might have named precisely
which constellations summoned us, calculated
prostrations and prayers, enumerated sins,
marked the place of each stone brushed aside
as we ascended. Carried offerings, not cameras.
I want to be able to report the sky
at once unknotted into cloud,
or that a light drizzle commenced
just as we came to rest in the shade
of scented clove trees, forever altered.
But all I remember is walking clean
ahead of our shadows in lingering afternoon,
the fragrance of incense masked by cigarettes,
rice grains peeling off our foreheads like husks,
an ordinary thirst encroaching. Yet isn't it right
to answer orisons with stillness;
to place surrender into empty palms?
So wise the blessing to let things be.
Who knows what has shifted in us,
listening to the bell of something opened?