Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Presence of Substances

Tea. It's a "thing" here in Ubud, Bali where I have been living for the past eight months. A divine thing indeed. Tea and raw chocolate, that is. I'll get back to the raw chocolate later...that should be a post on its own!

Substances. They come from nature, they affect our nature. They can be fine- even helpful- in moderation, and they can devastate lives. Hailing from northern California I know all too much about such substances and their affects. In the land of fine wine and kind marijuana- proudly exported across the world- offerings are frequent and fastidious. My last residence was in Oakland, California- appropriately nicknamed "Oaksterdam." And on occasion, I love me a glass of good local pinot noir.

Ancient Pu-erh tea, an experience to savor.
Some say it's how we approach our substances. In the innocently swift change from the decade of my twenties to my thirties, it became apparent that the divide runs deep. The divide of how friends and loved ones handle their substances. Sadly, there is quite a split. By my late twenties came the interventions, the seemingly have-it-all-together people announcing their alcoholism and asking for support, and the really, really smart and talented friend who is clearly, hopelessly addicted.

Years into my polite declines in California, I genuinely appreciate the lack of substances in my community here in Bali. What a blessing it is to be part of a very social community in no way centered around substances! It takes away all necessity for self-restraint. Parties, social events, dances, all sober. Unless you count chocolate and ancient pu-erh tea that is, and folks can get crazy on that stuff! When we purify our bodies through conscious nutrition and clean habits, we strengthen our nervous systems, awaken our senses, and balance our hormones. The results of such healthy habits allow us to function from a more balanced state.

My commentary is not a judgement on others choices, just a personal observation. I'd like to think of the communities we surround ourselves with as a conscious choice, but that's not always the case. We develop close friendships over the years and people change. Amazing people have all kinds of lifestyles. So, as I return to my wonderful arts community back in California, I will look forward to exercising my self-restraint, and resume my polite declines. After that one glass of pinot.

No comments:

Post a Comment