Thanks to the distractions of sun, sea, sand and patchy internet, I have been on an impromptu blog pause while I’ve been traipsing in and around Bali. I photographed monkeys and ate nasi goreng and read books and swam with sea turtles and watched sun sets and pet stray cats and drank banana lassis and spent a lot of time with my toes dug deep into the sand, feeling extremely lucky.
There are awful things happening back home in Europe. I can feel the ripple of fear from half a world away, however hard we try to mask it. When will it stop? How can we put an end to attacks that are seemingly so random? It feels frustrating. It feels like something nestling close to despair.
Then I grab my mask and I dive underwater, where all I can hear is the sound of bubbles leaving my mouth. I kick my fins and swim into a shoal of silvery fish, who scatter wide-eyed as if I’ve interrupted a secret meeting. A large blue starfish with arms the size and shape of bananas drapes itself over a rock. A moray eel bobs out from under a rock to stare at me, his trademark slackjawed grin making me feel like an amusing bit of entertainment he’ll tell his friends about later.
I watch a batfish waft with the current, cleverly concealed next to a submerged piece of rope. I kick to propel myself down deeper and feel the cold undercurrent close over me as I follow a mantis shrimp hurriedly scurrying across the coral.
I think about how insulated we are under the water. I feel totally removed from real life. It’s just me and my fins and my breath, visiting this blue world that doesn’t know or care about wifi or worries or world news. I stay in the water until my skin has softened and wrinkled in protest. I stay until my lungs burn from holding my breath.
Then I swim back towards the shore and come to the surface just in time to hear the familiar strains of reggae music.
“Don’t worry … about a thing.
Every little thing … is gonna be alright….”
I’ll be back on Monday.