Blue Light of Life

Bakidin is a thirty-two year old man who lives near Kalipuro, East Java. He works in the field all day, Monday through Sunday, with no weekends off. He comes home exhausted, where his wife and two children are waiting for him. He sits down, and his wife brings a small plate of food: rice, mixed vegetables, marinated boiled egg, and Krecek – braised beef skin. He eats quietly, and after the meal, he plays a few minutes with his kids before going to bed.

One night Bakidin woke up around midnight, tossed and turned in the bed, and trying to sleep without success.

He finally gave up, got up, and went out. It was midnight, but was already hot. He decided to take a walk for a few minutes. After a short while, he felt surprisingly excited and decided to keep walking until he reached the crater’s rim. He followed the path down to the bank of the crater. Suddenly, blue light emerged from a crevice in the mountain. The flames were fifteen or sixteen feet tall. “Api Biru,” he murmured and kept walking. There was a sign that warned people to wear a mask because of poisonous gases. He ignored the sign and kept walking down until he reached the turquoise-colored lake. Even though a cold wind is blowing from Mount Marapi, he unbuttoned his shirt and took a few deep breaths. He was standing motionless and felt his limbs growing strong. His eyes were filled with light. Everything was changing, and he felt satisfied and fulfilled. He was not hungry, thirsty, or tired. There was no more suffering or desire for anything. He didn’t even want to say a single word, be quiet, and feel the wind. He has never experienced anything like that before. It was absolute peace that came from deep inside his soul and went out into space as if a mystical bond united him with nature. He looked at the sky and closed his eyes. He remained like that for a few minutes, staying still. Then he set down against a boulder. This was his true world: the crater, the turquoise-colored lake, the mountain, and the blue light, and most importantly, the silence.

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