Dalam nama Bapa, dan Putera, dan Roh Kudus….
(In the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit…)
I renewed my vows in Indonesian yesterday! It was a beautiful celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart…we had mass in the house here with the entire area minus two who are away–fifteen people, five nationalities…the local pastor celebrated with us. There was a chorus of novices and postulants who sing beautiful harmonies together, accompanied by guitar…everyone sitting on the wooden floor and the altar perhaps at the height of your knees when sitting. The front of the tabernacle in the chapel here is beautiful…it is a very thin layer of tough paper that looks like horn…it is batiked with an image of the open heart so when the light shines behind the chapel, you see the light through this door and the image is illuminated. Quite something. Afterwards, serious feasting on chicken, fish, rice, rice, rice, veggies, salad, juice, and a pound cake topped with shredded cheese–a nice flavor combo, actually. And, to go with the cake, fruit salad flavored icecream that tastes EXACTLY like “Frozen Fruit Salad” that my great-grandmother/mother used to make!! We all then gathered in the living room for much laughter and a game involving everyone’s names. Just as has been true in other places, my name is a source of curiosity and amusement for people…it sounds Asian to many and reminds people of Kimberly Clark the paper company, King Kong, the ape…and is difficult to sort out first name from last. I juggled fruit from the basket–my contribution to group entertainment… 🙂
The morning of the Feast (Friday) I was up when I have been all week–around 4. I write for a while, I pray for a while. That morning I was especially moved…because in the midst of the morning call to prayer happening all around me, there I was praying…and it being Friday, the holy day for both Muslims and Jews…I was adding my prayer to untold millions of others from major world faiths all happening at the same time… the image that came to me was of a shimmering, undulating wind that smells of spice and flowers, love and tragedy…a wind that blesses, refreshes, and can also part the sea.
The day before was a trip to the local market to buy food for the celebration. As I later wrote–The market was something else…PACKED with people and stalls everywhere selling everything from diapers to dried fish, bins of chipped, fried radishes, peanuts, snakefruit, a whole variety of chilis, the biggest chunks of ginger I have ever seen (wrist to elbow), fashion head scarves, sandals of all sorts, incense, and a hot almond nougat wrapped in corn husk and sold by the 2X4. There was more there than I could hope to describe that all came together to ears, nose, mouth, and eyes as a nearly overwhelming sensual cacophany… It was intense and it was amazing.