Frozen Moments



He Calls me

As he has every day for the past 2 and a half years…

I delayed my trip to Bali because he wanted to ‘spend time’ with me

When he returned from Prague.

My body knew something had changed

When he dropped me off at the station and couldn’t wait to leave..

A coldness so unfamiliar.


I’ve been here for a week..

And today, long distance, he tells me it’s over.

Just like that.


He reels off how much he’s learned

and how grateful he is for our time together.


In that frozen moment…

Want’s me to do the same?

Want’s it all tied up with a neat little bow

So he can move on…

free and clear.

I tell him to return my surfboard and frying pan and hang up the phone.


An intense sensation rises through my chest… I sit bolt upright… feel on the ground… connecting.

I think my heart is breaking…


As I write… the tears well in my eyes..

The obligatory copy of Eat, Pray, Love lies open, face down to my right.

Through my tears, I have to laugh at the cliche… the absurdity of this moment.

I am doing my best not to break into wild sobs,

Not to dive into that beckoning ocean of self-pity…

Now, with adamant resolve,

I claim my tears…

Determined to feel without a story.

Right now, he is not worthy of their shedding.

8.00 am

It’s early morning in Ubud…

With the cocks crow,

I feel the abrupt transition

From the spaciousness and peace of twilight to the harsh glare of day.

An unwelcome prelude to the bustle of locals and tourists going about their business…

A small, mottled cat arrives beside me and rubs against my leg…

As if she senses at once,

My aversion to human company and my need for affection.


I meet her on the corner, this new mirror of mine.

Recovering from Bali Belly… I am fragile…

we walk anyway, along the path of artists…

We discuss the devastation of this so-called ‘progress’

wondering about ‘our place’ in it all.

Seated now at the cafe, we back and forth, as women do…

my anger at him, at myself, transforms into a heart warm and open.

At this moment, floating high

Above myself

I touch a deep trust for life…


Crashing with a thud…

I meet with the girls on the creativity course… they ask me how I am feeling.

I hesitate with my response… honesty prevails.

We don’t know each other well…  And, there is no space for drama, in me or in them.

not superficial, but light…

the necessary harmony of mothers.


I am breaking inside.


Gratitude for my foresight in booking a session… Paid in advance.

A moment of urgency… as I realise the wi-fi is down …

I rush to another villa and finally establish a connection.

I give her the lowdown… She is angry at his cowardly behaviour.

Reflecting the collective pain of women.

I tell her I don’t want to go there.

Looks like I’ve discovered self-regulation from the inside out…

She commends my ‘stability’ in the face of it all.

In truth, I am numb, frozen in time …

Not sure if it was worth $80.


Male and female pigeons on a roof outside my window.

They sit together, but he is agitated… flighty.

She moves along… he follows, then moves back again.

I didn’t see what happened after that… but the birds are gone

Keeping it real…


I send him a message.

I tell ‘Darling’ that I am ok with his decision because, in truth, I was going that way too.

I don’t like the way he did it, but I still hold him in my heart.

I’m ‘big enough’ to let this go… I  briefly convince myself…

I try to send it but the wi-fi is still down…

A sense of urgency floods me.

He replies. He appreciates my heartfelt message.

Just takes it and offers nothing.

Our whole journey together tied up with a neat little package and tossed aside.

I drop to the floor and cry.

Then anger… at myself… rises like a storm.

Have I just ‘let him off the hook’? Allowed him the easy way out?

He has nothing for me… only for himself…

And I … have . just … given … him … … …blessing.


I can’t eat… I’m feverish and weak…

I call Gusti, my driver to bring me some water.

I burst into tears when I see him.

He responds with genuine concern and surprise.

He calls me mum. “Mum, don’t cry”…

He can’t stay… his wife and child are with him

He will come back later…


I am almost asleep when Gusti arrives…

Now it is he who is crying.

He just had a fight with his wife…

He is half-caste, with no family here.

She told him to go back to Java…


I awake in a pool of sweat.

Belly churning I run to the bathroom…

Anxiety rises…

I won’t indulge it.

I read 2 more chapters of Eat, Pray, Love.

Seeking solace in her humanity…

and… her survival.

I roll over and turn out the light.


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