It rained a lot earlier this week. Frustrated and sun-seeking, I asked Wayan, the resort manager, about the forecast.

He smiled. “Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it doesn’t rain.”

Yesterday, in chatting with Agung, our big-hearted tour guide, he said, “Cockfighting is illegal in Bali, but we do it anyway, because the police need something, too.”

From the novel I’m reading, Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy:

“We’re not¬†about need in here,” the saleswoman laughed, “we’re about want, and everybody wants something beautiful – if only to remind them of someone beautiful.”

Henry shrugged. “That’s the best sales pitch I’ve ever heard.”

The saleswoman showed him a men’s dress shirt, pure mother-of-pearl buttons and barrel cuffs.

“Interesting,” Henry said, taking it from her. “It’s so simple.”

“If you understand that,” the saleswoman said, “then you understand the most important element of style.”

And later…”If it’s so precious, doesn’t it belong to everyone?”

In the stillness, you notice the dragonfly, alight on a wood plank, its ricepaper wings shuddering in wind but not lifting into flight. The gurgle of the water. The way the tiny soft rain is welcome, the art of nature offering balance from the hot morning sun.

The way the grasses throb with life – insects purring a symphony. In silence, you recognize the shudder of red-bottled laughter about to explode.

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