Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Chiricahua National Monument
"As hard as I have tried to remember the exact moment when I fell in love with God, I cannot do it. My earliest memories are bathed in a kind of golden light that seemed to embrace me as surely as my mother's arms. The divine presence was strongest outdoors, and most palpable when I was alone." ~Barbara Brown Taylor
Monday, August 27, 2018
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Friday, August 24, 2018
Bedogol - Balinese Gate Guardian Statues
Bedogol - Balinese gate guardian statues. Two of a variety of different types of statues are selected to guard Balinese temples and homes. One is placed on the right side of the entrance way and one is placed on the left side. Both statues may look alike, but they are not identical. They complement each other and represent, for example, good vs. bad, positive vs. negative. The statue with the most power is placed on the right side. The purpose is the add balance by organizing possible unbalanced forces from the outside world, and to make the positive and negative elements neutral before entering the home. Temple and home entrance ways and front doors in Bali were ornate, colorful, detailed and beautiful. The statues varied greatly from beautiful and shapely Balinese women to ugly, terrifying, realllllly scary looking monsters or demons.
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Friday, August 17, 2018
The rich cultural heritage of Balinesian Hindu worship can be traced back to the 5 century B.C. and continues today with around 84% of the population claiming to be Hindu. The influence of this heritage is evident everywhere one travels in beautiful Bali in the form of ancient temples and ritualistic offerings. It was a delight to see these small, sweet offerings, called 'canang sari', that are seen everywhere.
They adorn every small shrine, every large temple, businesses, homes, streets, car dashboards, and even perched on the handlebars of motor scooters. They may be pretty and interesting for tourists to see, but they hold deep meaning for Balanese who carefully and lovingly prepare multiples of them each day.
The canang sari are made and offered every day except when there is a death in the family or village. At the end of the day, they are all swept away and will be replaced the next morning. It is disrespectful to step on or step over a canang sari, and one has to be careful, because many are placed on sidewalks, doorways and floors. It is especially disrespectful to disturb the offering while the incense is burning and the smoke is carrying the essence up to heaven.
If you are looking for a rich, cultural experience on your travels, in addition to a beautiful, tropical paradise, you won't be disappointed in Bali!