Friday, September 4, 2015

28 July 2015: "I, I who have no-one ...". I sit alone in a brisk sea breeze on the end of the first groyne singing Shirley Bassey songs at the top of my voice. Tomorrow I bring a hat for coins, from passing joggers and fishermen. Ships pass like fishermen in the night.

Last night there was an incident at the Pura Persimpangan: one of the newly minted Mogan priestesses — the one with all the jewels and an extra tight bodice on her white chemise — flew into trance and pointed her arms aggressively at a gaggle of teenagers who went for the umbrellas too early.

They stopped, after a fashion, and the kincang-kincong dance of the four staffs, the traditional end of any odalan temple anniversary, continued, but the Kepaon palace elders thought it rather presumptuous of a lowly Mogan trance medium to get involved in the order of ceremonies of a Pemecutan palace temple. Oh, things are unravelling quickly around here, Ha!

Later that evening, at the barong face-off in the forecourt of the Pura Dalem Kepala, when the Dalem Kepaon palace head stands in front of his temple's gods, and the medwi priests go into trance and stab themselves with keris daggers as a sign of feudal piety, every trancer had two (2) keris!!! I mean HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? Usually one or two nutters do two knives and another does one knife in the eyeball sort of thing. Random like. There must have been a memo saying, "To all trancers: two keris each tonight, girls”. Anyway, it was a fabulous show and the palace has improved the lighting so the video should be a doozie. Oh yes, one other strange thing happened: a young free-range Sri Rsi holy man, better looking than senator I Gusti Wedakarna and dressed in the same considered way, strolled into the arena as if he owned the place. I got a snap. Over the decades Pura Dalem Kepala has attracted a lot of strays, like me. The late Mangku Meme of Kedisan the most memorable.