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I Am a Muddy Path With No Banana Leaves
....I recently experienced a sunrise at Mom's Natura Farm in Bali. Mom and I are discussing a project that involves both her taken miso furikake and Furikake, my book of short stories. Furikake is the name given to the countless types of Japanese rice seasonings.Mom's Facebook page is here. Info on my latest book, Bali Wave Ghost, is here. GRRRRR ...WORDPRESS IS NOT DISPLAYING THE BUTTONS FOR THINGS LIKE LINKS AND ITALICS...GRRRR https://www.facebook.com/MomNatura/?fref=ts http://www.amazon.com/Furikake-stephen-black-ebook/dp/B002PAQAXE I Am a Muddy Path With No Banana Leaves I drove to Mas in darkness. Mom welcomed me:"Six o'clock. You are on time. Like a Japanese." She gave me her husband's boots. My first task was to water "our plants". That was on Level 1. Later in the morning, Rachel watered Level 2 and Liisa looked for okra on Level 3. There's a teepee on the edge of Level 4. Mom was everywhere.Children from the school yelled "Hello" and "Good morning", their voices and enthusiasm strong enough to cross the big field between us. Later we could hear them singing Balinese songs. I used a sickle on the plants surrounding the wild peanuts and discovered okra blossoms. My boots leaked. As she walked in, as though she were laughing, Alex asked me how I was doing. We ate breakfast in Mom's bamboo house. Manny talked about food, air, water and McDonald's and we all discussed furikake, laphet and mimosa tea.Mom taught us that the katen in katen miso is derived from two characters that mean fire and iron."Katen" is also used to describe someone with strong, purposeful energy. Rachel mentioned something she'd read about how the visual appearance of food influences digestion.We ate papaya and okra salad and rice balls. Another topic: the ideal state of mind for those people who prepare food. The four hours I was at Mom's farm was a beautifully slow and flowing sequence of events, thoughts and exchanges. I drank no coffee.:) But my strongest impression was my experience with the muddy path task. The farm has a network of paths and some sections had become very slippery because of the rain. Mom told me to use old leaves and stalks from the banana plants as mats that would provide traction and improve safety. You don't want to fall with a large cutting instrument in your hands... I didn't plan; in such a cosmic place, everything would be naturally perfect. But I learned that my thinking was wrong. I should have gained information about: a) the number of banana leaves available, b) the number of trouble spots, c) the "danger rating" of trouble spots, d)"danger ratings" vs. frequency of use, e) location and f) time available to complete the task. I should have improved the most dangerous high-traffic sections first, starting with the steps between levels. Then, I should have used my limited amount of banana tree resources to prevent new trouble spots from developing.With whatever time was left, I should have put at least one leaf on all of the remaining areas, which would have warned others of danger. But as it is, many parts of the paths on the farm are still very slippery and one small area in Level 1 is very safe.