little sarah Big World

Month: December, 2014

I Am Here With You

~December 27th, 2014~

Amed, Bali, Indonesia

View from Warung Ari, Amed, Bali (December 2014)

Wake to this view, alone in a big bed, save for the companionship of my prized possessions, a habit I’ve formed while traveling, one which reminds me of Espy and Julia Wertz. Toothpaste on my chest, for zits, and that reminds me of Melissa, and Whitney.

Cohabitation, with Accessories (Bali 2014)

In the bathroom there’s a cockroach, legs up, rocking gently side to side. A little yogi. I put a glass over him, for lack of a better plan.

*       *       *

A rocky run on the beach, feet slipping on fist-sized stones, as the locals light incense, make their offerings to the gods. Today, in their finest: bright lace-trimmed blouses for the women, crisp white coats and head-wraps for the men. Saris for all. Today is a holiday in Bali.

Amed Beach, Bali, December 2014

Stones give way to rocks and boulders, and I find myself scrambling among them, scaring the natural inhabitants. Brown crabs scurry, suspicious, crawling sideways into dark cracks. Cockroaches I can’t even see make a noise like static electricity as they skitter before my footfalls. Slick, dark salamanders, smaller than my palms, rush like liquid, in droves, out of my way, leaping with delicate plinks into the water.

Then there are the snails, shining tawny half-spheres–part beetle, part barnacle–which literally tumble in my wake, detaching themselves and clattering like marbles to the rocks below.

Everything moves away from me.

Amed Coastline, Bali, Indonesia (December 2014)

I move away, too. Today is Eric’s birthday, turning 30 on the other side of the globe, and all I could offer were words of praise and love from afar. Crawling on the rocks I think of him: the time we went to Lake Powell, became friends, ran on the redrock and talked with ease. He’d like this, here and now.

*       *       *

A photo on Facebook of Sister Natalie and Perry, taken by Espy, out to eat, laughing. Silly. I miss them all, and for a moment I feel the tug, the want, pulling me back home.

But then it releases, a sigh, a breath of air. I do not wish I was there.

I’m happy to be just exactly where I am, happy to be traveling alone. Happy for the friends and family I can return to any time, and in the meantime I carry them with me, remembering, their names and faces cycling like a mantra through my mind, chanted in my heart (Espy, Melissa, Whitney, Eric, Natalie, Perry…)

So I am never really alone

On the Beach, Amed, Bali (December 2014)

Because also there’s that stranded roach, trapped in glass, waiting for me back at my room.

A Poem


What I Did Instead of Falling Asleep

The View from Mt. Agung, Bali (December 2014)

“For You”

The whole night’s sky
All the stars
a message
“You are loved; you are safe”

The tide
pushed towards you
Blue ocean
come to call
a reminder:
“You are wanted; you are missed”

The flower-bright sunrise
Mountain tops
the cloud line
A new world
a promise:
Mornings to come

Your place
My heartbeat
a hammock
swaying, sweetly

“My love, my love”

Lucky to Be Free


“I’m back…I think”

Temple Gate, KL, Malaysia, 2014

Today is our anniversary.

“WAS,” says Adrienne. Would have been. Today would have been our 2nd anniversary.

I’m spending it alone, in Malaysia, on my way to Bali, a plan I made, reveled in, regretted, and then reconciled myself to (as though a tropical Asian vacation were something to be endured–I am such silly twerp at times).

*       *       *

I never thought any of this would happen. Never thought I’d get married, and then, having committed myself fully, never thought I’d be divorced. I’d never considered living in Japan and could not have guessed, even one year ago, that I’d be the one to stay, happy in my new home, out in the world, again, on my own.

I’d never have predicted the twists or turns or characters that would lead me back to a sense of contentment, and there were times, places, dark lonely spaces, when I sincerely believed that I would not, could not, survive this heartbreak.

Life delivers us many surprises.

Temple Gates, KL, Malaysia, 2014

I can’t stop thinking how fortunate I am, like a metronome in my mind: “Lucky, lucky, lucky.” Born free, raised well, healthy, never wanting for food, running water, shelter, or love. I work a job that makes me excited to get up in the morning; I’ve seen more of the world than most people ever will; I live a charmed life, one that others can only dream of. I must never forget that, never stop feeling fortunate, or grateful.

China Town, KL, Malaysia, 2014

Happy anniversary, Chad. Thank you for the good times, the hard lessons, the opportunities, and for letting me go.

*       *       *

So here I go.