I've never learned a skill so tedious before - the creation of Batik. If you haven't heard of it before, clearly you are... just like me. I had no clue what Batik was until coming to Indonesia and discovering this beautiful process. Let me tell you now, learning Batik was the hardest thing I've ever had to learn and I wasn't very good at it. Christina and I spoke about how we are such "rushers", just wanting to get it over with so we can see the finished product. It goes to say that's how I am with everything. I want to rush just to get the job done. But this taught me patience and an appreciation for the investment.
Batik is a tradition passed down from generation to generation within Indonesian culture as a practice of fabrication. The method is taking wax to create your pattern and dying the fabric in your choice of color. The process seems simple but it's no where near simple. It takes months to years to create one piece.
There were moments where I got frustrated that I couldn't trace a simple pattern and was quick to blame the tool I was using. Truly it was because I was rushing the process. Throughout our trip in Indonesia, we had more opportunities to create our own Batik and I eased into it better and learned patience. I also learned the importance of being present. I don't know about you but a lot of times, I drift off into another world when I'm doing something, like right now, I'm thinking about paint swatches at Home Depot. When you're doing something as time consuming and tedious as Batik, it's so important to be present in what you're doing. Otherwise, you'll easily go off track and completely ruin your pattern.
Coming home, with the rush of New York, there's this immediate feeling of vacancy. We're all moving and drifting, from one project to another, one person to another, without taking the time to invest in that moment. When I came home, I made more of an effort to be present in conversations with friends, stop what I was doing to actually have a skype call, stop a conversation to enjoy what I was cooking and I'm walking a lot slower (which is actually really nice).
Indonesia taught me so much but this clarity of how I was living life has opened my eyes to moments taken for granted. Let's just say, those moments aren't passing me by anymore.
Oh and to cap off our "tough" lesson that day, we went for drinks at the beautiful Skye lounge and ate at a ridiculously delicious restaurant with more dishes than I've ever dined with, in the hugest mall I've ever seen. Indonesia is pretty epic.