A Rainbow of Colors ~ A Costume Adventure in Bali

DSCN4928Mekare shares another Tara adventure in Bali

Such a creative kaleidoscope of mask, crown, and costume adventures!  I had met Oka, the mask maker within 48 hours of arriving in Bali.  The crown maker was found after weeks of searching. Even more weeks of searching were required to find a seamstress. Fortunately I had learned how to wait and surrender to the Balinese world of time out of time. Once again it proved to be magical and perfect.

I could not understand why it seemed impossible to find a seamstress or tailor. It just did not make sense to me. There are so many tailors on the island, but none that I approached were able to help me. I reminded myself that those mysteries that keep us on long twisting trails for no apparent reason, most often give extraordinary gifts. And so it was with this.  The path to the temple IS the temple.

Once again friends and family spoke with friends and family. The search was on. DSCN6529 Budi and I traveled by motorbike this way and that way. We met with seamstresses in busy shops in Ubud who spoke English and worked with foreigners daily. We visited tailors way out in the rice fields who spoke no English at all. We visited a beautiful woman, a friend of Solomon’s, in another village, who ran a large business of clothes-making for overseas customers. None of them could commit to making costumes for Tara. Everyone was overbooked and not willing to take on the project. It was later in April, when I finally realized why.  April is wedding month in Bali. Every seamstress and tailor was overwhelmed with work all of March and April.

DSCN5908We had heard mention of a woman on the outskirts of Ubud. We had visited her shop twice near the beginning of our search and no one was there. Shop was open, vibrantly colored cloth was stacked and patterns to be cut were laid out on a table, but no person had answered as we called into the courtyard. After three weeks of heads shaking no, I suddenly had the inspiration to go back to that shop.  Just one more time.  Just to see. Perhaps. Maybe…

So we did. We returned. And on that day, magic happened.

The owner of the shop is Nithi. And that day, she was there. I explained what I wanted and she immediately said yes. And the reason for the “Yes”? She loves Tara!!  She told me to return to meet with her daughter Shade who is the creative director. Shade is not only an extremely talented seamstress and designer, but an exquisite being. I feel the energy and blessing of White Tara whenever I am with her.DSCN5976

For the next month, Budi and I traveled far and explored the Muslim cloth markets in Sulawesi and the huge fabric stores of Kuta, searching for the right colors with the right texture and weight for draping for the flowing tops, and the golds for the cholis and pants. It was quite an experience and much like finding a needle in a haystack. The haystack being hundreds and hundreds of bolts of fabric.


I was standing in the middle of a room full of endless bolts, tired and a bit bleary-eyed, surrounded by six salesclerks holding layers of cloth we had already chosen, when the energy of Tara moved through me and I saw the exact colors needed for three of the Tara’s peeping from the stacks. They were shining boldly getting my attention. The last color to find was the fabric for Triumphant Joy.

DSC_2795We took one more journey to the Muslim market, walking in and out of every shop, when Budi suddenly pointed high up toward a shelf.  “Isn’t that the color, Mekare?”  It was a vivid experience of Triumphant Bliss and Joy!

We returned with bags overflowing with beauty to Shade’s shop, where she and I pulled one piece after another from the bags and began to conjure.  Prema had sent basic patterns, but wanted them unique and special.  As with Oka, I shared with Shade the teachings of each of the Praises. She would sit with the color of that particular Tara draped over her lap, listening intently as I spoke of the quality and the energy of that Tara. I would see her eyes suddenly shine brightly as she saw the costume arise in her mind.  It was a very precious time.

And so the jewel colored costumes were made, just as the crowns and the masks, with such joy and love.  With the sharing of the teachings, the sharing of cultures, and the sharing of hearts.DSCN5816

Tara’s Mandala turning in every possible way.

Once again I bow in infinite gratitude to all the amazing beings who helped in countless ways, having such fun and sharing so much, to make all of this possible.

I give thanks for the powerful teachings of “jam karet”, often translated as “rubber time” or even better, “relaxed time”. This Indonesian concept of time actually means that things are supposed to happen in a relaxed manner, without rush, without pressure.  So different from life in the West, “jam karet” can certainly take some getting used to.  But the gift of this is the teaching to slow down and accept that while things do not happen quickly, they do happen, and in exactly the right way.