The Big Move – Indonesia and Beyond

Death is the black hole of biology. It’s an event horizon, and once you go over that event horizon, no information can be passed back out of the hole. So people can stand around the edge of the hole and say, Well it was this or that, but in fact, it represents some kind of limit case in the thermodynamics of information. You just can’t hand messages back over that threshold. So get yourself pointed right, do not your mantras bungle, and that’s about it. When you’re actually dead, all bets are off. The best answer I’ve gotten yet out of this is from Don Delillo’s Underworld, where the nun discovers that when you die you become your website…

Terence Mckenna – 1999

In 18 days I will be flying to Indonesia to live and work on two beautiful islands called Nikoi and Cempedak for over a year. I am continuously amazed at how much of an incredibly lucky person I am to have these opportunities fall upon me. Let’s go back to where it all started.

In August 2017 I was living in Melbourne, Australia. I was working at a Cafe in Middle Park called ‘Miss Columbia Cafe’. I will always look back on this time in my life with great fondness. I met some incredible people throughout my time in Melbourne and none more so than when I worked at the cafe.

Cempedak Island – Indonesia

The working holiday visa for Australia dictates that you have to spend 88 days working in rural farmland to gain an extra year’s working visa. I struggled with this decision for months. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to continue in the wonderful bubble I had created for myself in Melbourne or to jump into the unknown in order to return. At the last minute I decided to apply to work on a farm in Western Australia. I got the job and arranged all of my things. By that point I had collected quite a large amount of art supplies and finished/unfinished paintings. This was packed away for my return and I headed off into the sunset.

Upon my arrival I met a girl called Kirstie. We immediately hit it off. We are around the same age, we have the same mindset and are both from the UK. We had a brilliant week together as she ran through the duties I would be undertaking. After she left as I was to be her replacement. I always knew that our business together was unfinished as we seemed to be connected in some unforeseen way.

We remained in contact over the past 18 months and I was unbelievably happy to hear about her landing a dream job in Indonesia just after leaving Australia. I love seeing her regular updates on social media and was always astounded by how beautiful the location seemed.

Back to the present. This winter has been very hard for me. I am a sunbird. For my entire existence in the UK I never realised how much the lack of sunshine and the totality of grey had been affecting me until I went away and came back. In all other aspects my life has been wonderful. I am so fortunate to have found a beautiful manor house to live in with plenty of space to work from but I couldn’t muster the energy to put all my plans into action.

Alongside this, my foray into the business world had plateaued. I have never been naturally drawn towards business, in fact I would say I completely despise it in its current form. I cannot bear marketing – the need to express a designated mask of success and chirp. My inspiration was at an all time low. I had lost the desire to create within the constraints of making money from it. The final hammer fall was a inescapable bout of insomnia that made any motivation I had left vaporise into exhaustion and inability to form sentences. For weeks I was averaging one hour of sleep a night.

Ram Dass – Watercolour work in Progress 2019

Strangely though, my spiritual development has been growing exponentially. ‘The Dark Night Of The Soul’ was working its magic and although it seemed as if I was at a low point generally, I felt a great surge of acceptance and I knew that this was all essential in order for me to grow even further into a different skin. One of the main lessons I learned was that I am so grateful I failed to make the business work in the way that I did, because I am now one step closer to making it work the way it needs to.

I have to owe a lot of my development to Ram Dass, Alan Watts and other such magnificent people. The Yoga of Business sounds like an incredibly leftist, new age, unsubstantial concept. To me, it means making the world a better place whilst simultaneously using my work as a continuous opportunity for the growth of my very soul.

I have no idea how I am going to achieve it but since I have let go of the ways I have been working in the past few months I feel a tremendous weight off my shoulders and a wave of inspiration that I recognise as pure and sustainable.

This move is going to shake my world again. It’s scary but I have learned that if it’s scary for the right reasons it will be exactly what I need. Alongside this faith in the process of growth, the circumstances from which this new future grew were too synchronistic to ignore. In the midst of my seasonal depression, I knew that I needed to be back in South East Asia. I set my mind to it so wholeheartedly and began looking for opportunities from the the contacts I still have across the world.

Kirstie was one of the first people I contacted to enquire as to artistic opportunities in the East. She informed me that where she worked was so remote that there wasn’t much available but that I could join her in Cambodia or Thailand as she took her holiday out there and from there I could look at creating something new for myself. Something was drawing me to Indonesia and I looked into Bali and other islands. I was informed that there was plenty of creative activity out there but on the flipside, the market was so saturated it would be difficult to stand out.

Less than one week after I had made my decision Kirstie messaged me;

‘Lucy, are you still interested in moving to South East Asia? The day you asked me one of our guys handed his notice in and now there’s a job available here, where I work.’

Despite the pre-coffee morning fug, I knew. I knew immediately that this was going to happen. It would only require that I surrender to it. A few weeks later, after a very casual skype interview and some email correspondence, I had a flight booked and my future was set.

I have been extremely nervous but this is now giving way to excitement as the immediate timeline becomes concretised into definition. Every moment I spend in the UK now has an iridescence to it. It reminds me of something Terence Mckenna said about when he was close to death:

When it first happened, and I got these diagnoses, I could see the light of eternity, a la William Blake, shining through every leaf. I mean, a bug walking across the ground moved me to tears.

Terence Mckenna

Death happens all the time, not just to our bodies. The end of one way of life and the move into another is not only important for growth but because it changes the mundane, the frustration, the endless, into the finite and the beautiful. Right now I’m sitting here in Plymouth, the sun was shining earlier, the sea was inexhaustibly complex, the rocks shone lichen gold. All of which would have been missed if I knew that I would see it again. But this may be the last time.

So here’s the secret. Every time could be the last time. For everything. Morbidity should be welcomed and greeted with grace. Every infinite moment is the last. So for god’s sake reach out and grasp it. Feel the feelings as fully as you possibly can. The sadness, the apathy, the fear, the courage. All of it is valid so witness it as you would a rainstorm – by dancing in it.

A new chapter awaits.


Photo by Daniel Olah on Unsplash

2 Replies to “The Big Move – Indonesia and Beyond”

  1. So profound as always. Here you go on another jaunt. Enjoy it all. Always here at the end of mobile, Skype, whatapp, Facebook and anything else you can think of. All my love Munchkin xx


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