Hello Stranger (finale): Bali, Indonesia

“i have always thought that each version of a story is better than the one before. how does one know, then, which is the final version? in the same way the cook knows when the soup is ready, this is a trade secret that does not obey the laws of reason, but the magic of instinct. [it] will be like the joy of coming home.” ~gabriel garcia marquez. prologue, strange pilgrims.

i never write things like this when i am happy. sadness, clearly, is a vice i wouldn’t let go of because it feeds my creativity. but i know i cannot dwell on sadness alone.

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as the arrival doors open, i saw you standing there, steadfast.

it was a moment i shall hold in my hands. even as we tread the sands of kuta and sanur, i made sure i held your eyes while my fingers twined with yours. even as we greet the sunrise in candi dasa and watch as the light dim over the mountains in amed, your stare was carefully tucked in the folds of my palms while your arms were wrapped around me. even as we ride with the dolphins in lovina and drown in art in ubud, the vision of you standing there and steadfast was bracing my shoulders while we sat in silence.

and the sight of you behind the departure gates was where my aloneness stopped and my loneliness began…

too long have i been without to understand the feeling of being with.

the world is harsh and i needed to be unbreakable. above all else, i needed to survive. and so i became a shell instead of skin that breathes freely, that falls deeply, that bears all.

but your hands are kindness, your eyes forgiving.

i feel myself unravelling before you and i am naked and i am ashamed and i am voiceless and i am darkness and i am fearful and i am water and you are the barrier that breaks my tide. to rest on the banks of your shoulder shall be the joy of coming home.

i see the road and i know i still have a long way to go. but i can promise you one thing when i get there, finally…

i shall love you defenseless…

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for RB who taught me that the world is not calloused after all, but soft as his lips, and gentle as his fingers trace the outlines of my soul.

the world is calm my almost beloved. it is as tender as your kiss…


  • http://www.lakwatseradeprimera.com lakwatsera de primera

    What a great series! love the finale too “I shall love you defenseless ” amen :)

  • http://soloflighted.com Ed

    i never write things like this when i am happy. sadness, clearly, is a vice i wouldn’t let go of because it feeds my creativity — amen to that!

    sometimes, to inspire me to write, i pop in a depressing song to keep the words flowing and set me in the mood. — ano ba yan, masokista masyado ang dating ko. naghahanap ng pasakit. haha

  • http://fliptravels.com/ flip’n travels

    @lakwatsera: thanks for following the series. there is a happy ending at the end of the road after all… 😀 hihi!

  • http://fliptravels.com/ flip’n travels

    @ed: true that! minsan, i feel really really stupid forcing myself to cry just to write… masochist nga tayong mga nagsusulat! argh!

  • http://www.wherenowblog.co.uk Jozef Maxted

    This is great, you’re obviously very talented writer!

  • http://thetravellingfeet.com doi

    ” so i became a shell instead of skin that breathes freely, that falls deeply, that bears all” – very well said and i can relate.

    ganda ng pagkakasulat! bow down ako 😀

    i really enjoyed following your series and can’t wait for the next one! 😉

  • http://fliptravels.com/ flip’n travels

    @josef: thank you and thanks for dropping by! :)

  • http://fliptravels.com/ flip’n travels

    @doi: everyone gets hardened by bad experience, but who says we can’t emerge from that? 😀

    thanks very much for following the series… ron and i will think of another “special” haha!

  • http://lakad-pilipinas.blogspot.com Christian | Lakad Pilipinas

    Fantastic writing, perfect way to cap off the series.

  • http://vagabond3.com jade

    new to the series, but love the last couple of lines. beautiful!

  • http://www.glamourgrannytravels.com inka

    A fitting finale. Oh yes, you had me glued.

  • http://www.travelated.com Rease

    Nice post, I like the style. Sadness is often a great inspiration for writing. I like to think of it as a bonus. If you have to be sad, at least some great writing can come of it.

  • http://fliptravels.com/ flip’n travels

    @christian: thanks much! this is the cherry on top of the cake… :)

  • http://fliptravels.com/ flip’n travels

    @jane: thank you! i think you caught the series at its best… 😀

  • http://fliptravels.com/ flip’n travels

    @inka: thank you for following the series! we really appreciate it! 😀

  • http://fliptravels.com/ flip’n travels

    @rease: thanks! i couldn’t agree more with what you said. cheers to sadness and for whatever we can milk it for! 😀

  • http://www.ordinarytraveler.com Christy @ Ordinary Traveler

    Beautiful words! I’m so glad it was a happy ending for you!

  • http://fliptravels.com/ flip’n travels

    @Christy, thank you, indeed it was a happy ending!

  • http://myexpatgermany.com/ Laurel

    Beautifully written and like Christy, glad there was a happy ending for you.

  • http://fliptravels.com/ flip’n travels

    @laurel: thanks laurel! >_<

  • http://throwcautiontothewind.wordpress.com peppyvagabond

    “i feel myself unravelling before you and i am naked and i am ashamed and i am voiceless and i am darkness and i am fearful and i am water and you are the barrier that breaks my tide.” — this is beautiful. I feel weak and nostalgic reciting this in my head over and over. Oh gahd. beautiful sadness.

  • http://fliptravels.com/ flip’n travels

    @peppyvagabond: sweet! thanks for dropping by! :)

  • Gita

    Nice article, dude. Maybe http://www.jakpost.travel could be a good recommendation for you to find and explore another interesting destinations in Indonesia…

  • http://juanknows.wordpress.com/ Juan Knows

    I just gasped for air after reading all these lines. I must have forgotten how it felt like to find that serenity from someone else for too long now. MORE SERIES please!!!

  • http://flipntravels.wordpress.com flipntravels

    that’s one reason why we travel, to elicit that feeling. hehehe thanks