Rice Fields of Sidemen

Days spent watching a single view, a feverish dream, an impressionist painting. The posts of our veranda have become the heavily gilded frame on this ever changing Pierre Guillaume. Calls to shoo birds away from the precious grains, emphasis added with clanging bamboo halves controlled by long strings from the shed, shared with a patient cow. The calls change in voice from female to male, the woman primal, the man angry, clearly the bounty of this harvest matters. The ceremonial gamelan music drifts from temple to temple adding dimensions and depth. A singing voice, a distant scooter, a loudspeaker announcing lottery numbers? Now a whoosh, whoosh as the farmer patrols the field with a long white plastic vane on a bamboo pole, less subtle then the sweeping, always sweeping, Balinese broom somewhere, if only to separate the wilted white and yellow flowers from the fresh, dotting the paths and greens. In the background the volcanic cones of Gunung Agung and two lesser siblings appear or dissolve into the clouds as if the paint refuses to dry. As the sky darkens the lights of Pura Besakih, holiest of temples of this isle, twinkle, just a degree or two below the first specs on the Southern firmament. Another day, another aspect as the sky turns from grey to black, a thunder clap like the growling eruption of a volcano. Freeze frame! The white birds, the rice stalks, the palm trees, the cow in the shed, the farmers, the bamboo clangers, the large drop off the tip of the banana leaf, the black butterfly, the pagoda on the hill crest. Gusts of wind, rain drops on the flooded rice fields, the gurgle of the overflows, sounds to soothe you into another round of sleep, the frame dissolves into your dream.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.