A Cave for the Body…Paradise for the Mind

The house is dark. I’ve justified my time here by telling myself that Bali is so bright, the sun is so intense, the green is so green, and having a dark cave to come home to is…good. It is good, and I’m grateful.

There are exciting features to this house. The yoga platform floats like an enchanted thing at the edge of the jungle garden.


I get up early to practice as the first fingers of sunrise penetrate the narrow opening between it’s floor and the overhang. I want to catch those rays!


The roof is high and assembled artistically, adding volume and beauty to the space.


Brick walls and ochre floors create an earthy womb of safety. And it has a kitchen.

So what’s the problem? I figured it out yesterday. I live in Bali. I don’t want to turn on the lights at 4 in the afternoon to be able to see, when outside is still a sunlit feast. I’ve always loved tree-tops, open meadows, and glass houses that may get hot but, oh! the light! If I were up at the crack of dawn and gone, not returning home until sunset it would be fine. But I’m a home-body. I work at home. I love to be at home. I don’t want to be forced out to get my quota of vitamin D.


Armed with revelation, I took a long walk. What to do…what to do? I love the neighborhood, the people and the location. I don’t want to move. I returned to the darkness. The breezy cave after my sweaty walk felt good…for awhile. I wrote a poem. I tuned the guitar and tried to turn the new poem into a song. I answered e-mails. I spread some crackers with peanut butter and ate them staring off into space. I fidgeted. Then suddenly I knew.

I spent the rest of the afternoon designing a second floor. I didn’t study drafting and building construction for nothing! The more I doodled the more excited I became. The interesting aspects of the main house could be amplified into a stunning second story. Oh the view from up there! I worked out how to creatively allow light to stream into the dark first floor from an open balcony above. I stacked the plumbing for efficiency and economy. There is a perfect area for an outdoor stairway, a private entrance to my paradise. By the time I finished I had moved in. I could feel every inch of my new, sun-bathed home as if it already existed.

There are two minor roadblocks. One: money. Two: ownership. I don’t own this house and the current lessee probably wouldn’t cotton to having the roof ripped off. And there is the issue of money, but why go there when the whole scheme is imaginary anyway? The task accomplished its purpose. I distracted myself from writing and exercised other creative outlets. And now I have a marvelous new space for my mind to inhabit and enjoy, even if my body remains, at present, in the cave.

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