Updated: Apr 10
Have you ever smelled the jungle by the ocean? The very dirt is sweet to smell. And dark. The ocean hasn't made landfall for ten thousand miles. It's wild and dusky and doesn't give a fuck how beautiful you think it is. Its breeze is off at once to drink the jungle mountain mists - un-shrouded now - and down to meet on hinterland line. The beach in back and jungle in front. That's where I grew up. On an island of the Celebes. The cottage by the stream where my little brother-swept to sea - almost drowned, but my four-year-old mind rightly surmised the tide was ripping - I could only run harder - it was chest deep - the time stood still and nothing in the world moved except my brother like something I'd never see again soon. But faster. I still remember pale blue cheeks and dad exhausted on the beach. The Indonesian tribesmen holding my little brother by the ankles shaking him until the water followed itself out. A cough a gasp and he was back. I have some other memories too. But not of leaving. I was too young to remember leaving the only home I've ever had.
The rest were dorms and barracks.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Well, shit. I guess I might as well start at the beginning. I was born in Kellogg, Idaho. When I was two years old, my parents packed up my two brothers and I, and moved us off to Indonesia. Where I grew up. In the jungles of Sulawesi and Borneo. No shit. I can recall being in an airplane before I can ever remember being in a car. It’s one of my earliest memories. We lived in a small cottage on the beach. On the island of Sulawesi in a remote fishing village named Bangketa. It was the Indonesian version of a one-horse town. Two motorcycles. One road. The coast road. My dad had one motorcycle, then there was one other one. Remarkably they did manage to get into an accident. Growing up there was like watching Hemmingway’s Old Man and the Sea unfold every day as the natives paddled their outrigger canoes out into the ocean to fish the waters teaming with tuna, swordfish, sail fish, dolphins, rays and all kinds of other shit. The water was so clear and calm sometimes that it seemed like if you fell out of your canoe, you’d fall to the ocean floor. It felt like you were flying. I remember that. We lived there until I was five. I don’t know what you think about missionaries, but the real ones, the ones that live it day in and day out for their lives for years at a time aren’t quite the same as your college kid heading off for two weeks to help build a school. That’s all well and good, but it’s not the same thing.
NOTE: Finally Somehow Home is a separate book from The Perfect Fucking Life, and is not yet in publication at the time of this post.
All this shit is written and created by Jason Lee Morrison © 2022