Union Square: Rising from the belly of the subway station, my heart leapt, and then ached as my ears took in the sounds I associate with Bali.
Boom-diddy-boom-diddy-booom on the leather top, rhythm clattering from the Kartals, and the familiar exhale of the accordion. A Kirtan.
Muscle memory took over; my body swayed and my mouth released the chants that I heard so many times on the beaches of Bali. "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna...."
The leader of the group stood and stared, a slow smile creeping out.
"Where did you learn to hold your fingers as such? How do you know these songs so well?"
"Bali taught me," I replied.
"Ahhhh, so this is why you can linger and not rush like a New Yorker."
And so opened a long conversation about the constant rush to get nowhere, ending with encouragement to savor life. This small moment seemed to be a collaborative gift from Bali and New York, my yin and yang. A gesture as if to say: you may love us both. A reminder that the places and people who have shaped us never leave our heart.
Erin Michelle Threlfall
Theatre Artist, Activist, and Educator, Erin is the mother of a budding genius in his 9th year of study. Erin and her little man, Edem, have a plan to investigate world theatre and influence education one continent at a time. Ghana, South Korea, Togo and Bali have been checked off the list of places to live; these days they call Brooklyn, NY home.