She comes to me in haunting half dreams of another life, a mirror image of a fallacy in the dreading hours of the night. She comes as both winged angel and slithering snake, something terrible and beguiling. She is neither biblical nor demonic, but I have built her so in the dark recesses in my own ignorance. Forgive this of me and think not ill of my mistakes, because I have not known any other way. These are the meters of my measure, the only graphs and rulers I have to lay her across to understand her, the tools I have been given, or, the only lessons I had bothered to learn.Continue reading “She, Reprise”
Well, it’s not as far south as New Zealand. But something that I got to do during this pandemic was visit the city of my alma mater, San Luis Obispo. I wanted to write about this sooner — this trip happened in mid-October — but this pandemic, lemme tell you, friend, it has done a number on my writing. It’s been hard to sit at the trusty ol’ laptop and bang these out. It’s not like in Singapore where I had my Monday morning ritual. Walk the dog, chat with the helpers walking my neighbors’ dogs, shower up only to start sweating the second I walk out the door, hike down to Baker & Cook, order my eggs benedict or tartine and then wax travellouge at you all.
Yeah, it’s not like that now, is it?Continue reading “Points South”
Note: This is a re-post/re-written entry based on a post I wrote in September of 2015. Some of what I had written nearly five years prior has not only become more pertinent, but down right prophetic. So I’ve decided to make my first update in a month by re-writing an entry from the past. Go on and laugh. I do this for your entertainment, dear reader.
It was September 2015 and our arms were burning, metaphorically speaking, from rowing around the resort island in the midst of the Andaman Sea for nearly two hours. My ex and I had made the next-to-last turn on our trip and had just begun to notice that our arms, along with legs, faces and anything else so exposed to the South East Asian sun, were also quite literally burning as we had not adequately applied enough sunblock to defeat the beautiful Thai daylight. And at the time, unbeknownst to us, our home state of California also burned, with flames and smoke enough to dark the evening sun of a day to which we had already said our good nights.Continue reading “The Third Lap”
She comes to me in dreams, half-remembered hazy images of green and gold, the colors of forest, the cool breeze of morning rain. She walks in shaded boughs, her face a mystery. Of course it is. Of course she does. This is how she has lived, how she has survived, through stealth and guile, deception and misdirection. She is craft come alive, wisdom applied to reality, the sharp spear and steady shield.Continue reading “She”
September the 11th. For Americans, it’s a date that carries a lot of memories and sorrow. It also carries with it a rising level of jingoistic rhetoric and overly patriotic statements, the tragedy too large, I think, for our sound-bite culture to digest properly, too real to be actual memory. It’s a political day, as all events in the US are, it seems, as politicians reach out to their base with varying levels of thinly veiled xenophobia or condemnations/accusations of such.
Okay, enough of my fatigue of American politics.
One story below us in one of the few parts of Singapore that resembles a proper grid, the lights came on. While the city didn’t cool as much as one would expect as the sun fell1and rarely does, truth be told, an orchestrated dance of fans, some styled to resemble those from a more, colonial time, moved the air above us, cooled the room with the peanut-shell covered floor, proved proof against sweat in a city covered with it.
My legs are stiff and sore, the result of climbing countless steps on our journey to heaven. Many of the great temples of Angkor are designed as representations of Mount Meru, the holy mountain of the Hindu, Buddhist and Jainist faiths, the five spires of the temples symbolizing the five peaks of the mountain. The most famous of these temples, Angkor Wat, the largest religious building in the world, looks like it only has three spires when viewed straight on, but it too is a symbol of heaven on earth. We stood in queue to climb to the top of that building, waiting our turn to see heaven.
It was the sight of a couple, riding a bicycle built for two, wearing bug eyes and antennas that broke a storm of weeping for the city we’ve come to love. I couldn’t help but laugh, how much more Portland could that have been? It was something straight out of Portlandia, us in the car, her crying at the sight of two weird denizens on their silly bike. Clouds rolled overhead and the wet streets reflected whatever sun was available. It was the worst day of the year.
It was sometime late October when she had something to say. She’s reserved, so much so that she likely will dislike my sharing that fact, but her reservation is never more present when she thinks confrontation looms. She is to be forgiven for fear, however, because what she was about to say would start one of the most important conversations of our lives.
She was testing the waters of a move to Singapore.