No Turning Back

No Turning Back

Kadek Sonia Piscayanti

She is barely seventy or eighty. She is wrinkled all over her. The small flame made by-incence sticks with the smells, she hold them up. Her mouth says prayers. Her eyes open and shut as the mantram uttered slowly softly. Her white hair was messy and smelly. Her nails are black and dirty. Her clothes seems to be outworn, white faded to brown. She is still praying. Today is full-moon. She must pray. She must pray for everything. First, for her family. Her first daughter, she got married to a village nearby, having two children. They are about seventeen and fifteen who never know where to go after the high school ends. Please Lord, save them. She softly utters.

Second, her son. Married to a Balinese woman, who cares nothing of a ceremony, she is a writer and lecturer and Balinese too, and yet she does not know anything. Oh my Lord, forgive her, my daughter in law. At least, she works and she has two children. Very importantly, she has a son, at least. Save them. She softly utters.

Third, her son. Married to a Balinese woman too, who cares nothing of a family, but business. She is a hardworker too, but she cares nothing but money. Good, that she has built a good house, and she has two children, two sons exactly. Forgive her. Save them. She softly utters.

Fourth, her daughter. Married to a Chinese man, business man, who cares nothing but his business. She has three children, one son and two daughters. Please save them. She softly utters.

Fifth, her husband who cares nothing but himself. She stops. How could she marry this man. And how could she keep it going. Until fifty years. She could not handle it. Forgive him and please save him. She cried.

Sixth, herself, who has been in pain for handling all by herself, who never complains much but keeps everything for herself. ‘Save me from this pain’. She utters. ‘I have been handling thousand of ceremonies since I got married, I have been in no-way-out for fifty years’. I am old, and useless. I have never received any recognition. I am unseen. But still I pray for myself. Save me Lord. Save me. Until my last breath.’

The incense sticks-flames are off.

Singaraja, Bali, February 2015