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Ritual spirit

Every building, commercial or otherwise, seems to house a shrine. On commercial ways they are usually near the entry - sometimes right on the street. All kinds of representations are evident. Animals sometimes (I've seen dogs, lions and monkeys), or wrathful female goddesses. Sometimes little houses on plinths. Or a chair, sheltered by silk umbrellas in various colors (mostly yellow but I've seen red and white as well). Some with fringe.

This is the one at the guesthouse where I am staying for part of my trip. The local spirit resides in a little house draped with a black and white checkered wrap - almost like a skirt around its base. Every morning the inhabiting spirit is honored with the presentation of incense, flowers and fruits by a caretaker. Sometimes there are little piles of rice and honey left on banana leaves or on tiny mats woven out of some sort of grass. These offerings occur everywhere and are a natural part of regular life - an everyday necessity.

The Balinese seem to my eye to have a particularly lively connection with spirit - their active recognition and appreciation of the spirits that inhabit this land - and also their ancestors - seems to bring a kind of immediacy to their beings. They seem to hold mother nature in high esteem and have a particular reverence for both the seen and unseen ways she may be manifest. There is joy and wonder reflecting an intimate and familial relationship with