We want more. More life, more luck. We want someone to help us bargain with fate, someone
to divine the omens, read the stars, throw the bones, toss the Ching, interpret the law. We want to
see the future. We want to change the future.
But how change? We ask the clergy, the guru, the shaman, the psychologist, “Please teach us.”
We learn to ask the deity nicely using a respectful invocation, to live a moral life with good deeds, to
cleanse our karma through meditation and spiritual exercises, to clear our neurosis through therapy.
It is hard work. The experts teach us that we can change our life, but first we must change
ourselves. God helps those who help themselves. We try to make our own luck.
But for me, this is all too modern. Too much work ethic. Too complicated. I want something
simpler and more direct, something I can touch and see. I want something older, more archaic.
I want a lucky charm, a power object. Give me a magic ring.
Wait. Make it a magic beautiful ring.
“Greedy” you say. “He wants both magic and beauty? What next?” And I answer, “Nothing more.
I think that magic and beauty will be enough.”
|So I went to Bali in search of a magic ring and found that every man wears one. Standard
equipment. Why does a Balinese man wear a power ring? So that in a confrontation with the world
of spirit, he will be protected, empowered, endowed. He will need power, sakti, to enjoy such an
And so I bring you back rings from Bali. In this modern, hard working, complicated world, I thought
you might need sakti, some magic, some beauty.