Every day can not be this good, nor every month or every year. I have worked hard to be in this place and there will be obstacles in the future. It’s simple enough, every mystic and self-help guru will tell you the same story with different words. The truth remains the same – you are responsible for your state of mind. I know all the emotions; terror, joy, love, anger, despair. I have written them all down to pour them out of my soul; trying to either hold on to them or rid myself of them.
There is no magic formula, no system or plan. It’s a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, getting up and singing a silly song every day, promising myself that no one and nothing that happens will shake the belief; I can do whatever it takes to make a good life. My satisfaction is only measured by the number of times a day I can smile, laugh and find the good in a situation.
I used to tell my kids, life is the act of juggling three balls. One will always be at the top and one will always be rising, the third will always be falling. Those balls represent whatever labels you want to put on them; love, work, finances, happiness, pain, or health. We each label the balls and sometimes those labels change. The juggling and the position of those balls at any snapshot in time is what you need to be aware of. They can never all be at the top or even rising.
Marketing my book has been on the decline. It’s been a niggling voice in the back of my head that I’m ignoring that “child” and playing with new, fun ideas. Today, a friend of the store came in and was chatting with the owner. I was engrossed in some research and only half heard the conversation until Korey asked if my book was available at the Toadstool Bookstore. I looked up and was introduced to Brian who manages the Milford “Toad.” We had emailed and spoken before my reading there, but had never met. “Oh! Martha Schaefer! Yes we have your book. Great to finally meet you.”
There was my book, waiting in the wings, but not forgotten. Perhaps it is time to toss that ball high again. Here is a little, “virtual” reading – thirty-three years ago.
Chapter 5 – A Tale of Horse and Home
Journal Entry 1/22/81
Bandung. The ride was hair-raising, bouncing over the mountains on a narrow road crowed with buses, trucks, and lorries all creeping up the inclines and racing recklessly down the other side. The tops of the mountains were shrouded in thick clouds, and the cool air was saturated with rain.
The plantations rose up the steep roadsides, giving way to stepped paddies of tender rice shoots in perfect plateaus. The towns along the way were choked with pony carts and becaks, or marketplaces selling fruits and vegetables.
Bandung seemed more like a foreign country than Jakarta with less foreigners and a whole other language – Sundanese. The pace was slower and the people friendlier. The becaks were more abundant, smaller and artistically decorated. Architecture was not the modern, almost Western city atmosphere of Jakarta, but rather more gracious Old Dutch. It was pleasantly cool and dry – a perfect environment. I now understand why the dutch fled Jakarta for this town when there was no air-conditioning.
I was surprised by the size of the city; it stretches out over the plains, rising to the mountains on all sides. Our hotel was supposedly one of the best places in town, however, it was drab, dreary and had seen better days. The eerie Sundanese music wafting everywhere was enough to give me a nightmares.