Tuesday, August 23, 2011

stone bowl of water

stone bowl of water
for flowers, tadpoles, algae and
a thirsty old man

A blue food cart stops outside the gate, drawing several customers. The entrance to the Pondok Frog family compound where we are staying is elaborately carved volcanic stone with a wrought iron gate. Just inside the gateway there is an aling-aling, a low, free-standing stone wall, designed to confuse demons and deter them from entering, since they are believed to move only in a straight line. The driveway is a beautiful mosaic of stones in swirling patterns, white on black, harmony of opposites. Down the middle of the driveway, spaced at regular intervals, are rectangular strips of grass with a recessed stone bowl full of water. The bowls are used for floating blossoms, but are also home to tadpoles and algae. This does not stop an old man who just wandered in from the street from scooping up a handful of water from the bowl and drinking it.

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