Civilizations come in many forms.
I traveled to the Island of Bali in February. On the last evening of my stay, there was a Legong dance show at the hotel.
The stage was set in the darkness of the garden. Two girl dancers floated in the dimly lit platform, moving their feet and hands elegantly to the Gamelan music, oblivious of the ups and downs of the outside world.
At that moment, I was convinced that the dancing girls were at the center of a civilization. Efforts and aesthetics were put into that core, enriching the tradition, bringing growing, glowing, enchanting, fascinating, enlightening things to those who were fortunate enough to be involved.
That vivid sense of the reality of a beautiful civilization never left me, and it is with me today.