Monday, August 29, 2011

twin dragons twining

twin dragons twining
around a coconut shell,
horse-woman spirit twins

Ida Bagus Tista and his wife, Dayu Ariani, and daughter, Wayan Arista, came by. Dayu is 23 weeks pregnant and looks 9 months. "Twins," I say, and show her a photo of mine. Ida Bagus is a bone carver, quiet, narrow face, serious expression. Eight of us squeeze into his tiny car, five in back, three in front. At his tiny shop I pick out an "Indian Spirit" pendant of a horse-woman (spirit twins) for my friend Jennifer, who raises Icelandic horses, and a pierced and an intricately carved coconut shell of two dragons (twin spirits) set on a little wooden lamp stand, the light shining through the pierced shell. I look at a couple of new keris, but again get pricked. I give up on keris! Tista and I talk while the others finish shopping. He used to teach primary school but not enough money, so he learned to carve wood from his father, then switched to bone to be different. Later, Robin tells me more of his story. When she met him, he never smiled. He had had sex with an American woman and thought she would come back and marry him. He waited seven years. Robin got the woman's name and address and called her. She vaguely remembered Bali and some cute guy, one of a few. To save his feelings, Robin wrote a fake letter from her to Tista, apologizing that it hadn't worked out. He mourned for a month and then married Dayu at Robin's suggestion. Before he married her, though, he had taken a fancy to Robin's daughter Deja. "Should I wait for your daughter?" he asked. "No! Marry Dayu." Now he has his own shop, house, wife and child, and he smiles all the time.

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