The Last Dance in Bali

Well, not all that extreme, but it feels what? Less than desirable. I’m up for an extended period of writing and thinking. I had a job once as a research associate many years ago in Berkeley. My first task was to take three months read a number of books and articles about research methodology and education. I asked what was I supposed to do after I finished reading? The project director said, “Think!” Hmm? I said, Think about what? He replied, “Think about what you read and how you can use it in the field. Come back in three months and tell me what you figured out.” That’s it? I replied. I was more than a little perplexed at that point. “You’re going to be a paid intellectual worker now,” Don said with a smile that was as charming as I’ve ever seen. “Enjoy!’

I am that stage again, although this time I won’t be getting paid. I’ve relished the last month of mixing manual labor (learning how to repair plumbing, fixing windows, building wind proofing for my built-in closets), parenting on my own for the first half of the vacation (cooking, cleaning, checking homework, answering questions about school and the world), writing (working on a second draft of the novel I wrote 20 years ago) and writing (blogs and websites) and writing (letters and notes for a book on Islam) and podcasting and just thinking about how all of it is going to fit in to a new adventure, and what can I do in the last part of my life to make the world a better place for my children and grandchildren.

Yes, so as much as I love teaching, it’s time to take a step back (or forward) and see what’s next.

My youngest son, Sam, has shown a new interest in snorkeling. He’s snorkeled before but only on the shore messing around with his sisters, cousins, and friends. This time he asked if he could go out in the deeper water with me. I haven’t done much snorkeling here over the past nine years for a variety of reasons, mostly the coral was all dead and there were few fish to be seen. So we went out a few days ago, and the coral is regenerating; there’s still nothing like 18 years ago when I first snorkeled off the shore here in front of the house in Singaraja, but it’s slowly coming back and with it the fish.

We went out the farthest off shore today where the bottom just suddenly falls off and all you can see if deep blue. That was a bit frightening for Sam; I could feel him move closer to me until he as gripping my arm so we moved back in towards shore a bit. But even after all this time, I could remember the best spots for the fish  – just off to the west of the house almost in front of bridge just down the beach road. And there they were – thousands of fish of all sizes and colors and a long yellow eel who was not too pleased to see us, and a tiny blue moray hidden away in a blond piece of new coral.

So what is it that I’ll do in another five months? What won’t I do? The problem is going to be fitting in everything, getting organized and sticking to a schedule – alternating the book on Islam with the novel with the blogs with the podcasting with the house repairs with the parenting with the exploration of the sea with the visiting of friends with the letters to family with the classes I want to take on marine biology with the save the planet projects (save the cheerleader, save the world) with the development of the website to make it more useful to teachers with the looking for freelance writing jobs with the exploring of Singaraja. It should be amazing.

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~ by drbrucepk on January 12, 2008.

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