20 May 2005

Singapore: Selling Flowers

He was sitting beside his flower cart in front of the Buddhist temple. He didn't sell a single flower for the entire half hour that I stayed there. But, then again, he didn't seem to be too concerned about it. I think he just enjoyed being a part of the action.

18 May 2005

Aceh: What Remains 3

Aceh: What Remains 2

Aceh: What Remains

17 May 2005

Banda Aceh

N 5 36.466
E 95 29.362

Sleeping 75 meters from the shoreline, 45 minutes out of Banda Aceh. 6 months ago 20 feet of water blew through the bottom floor of the building. It survived because it had no walls on the back side. Also 6 months ago everyone was afraid to drive the road after dark because this is GAM territory, real life civil war. The tsunami changed everything. Now the rebels have pulled back into the hills and the Muslim neighbors wave when we drive by. So much to tell -- there will be time for that later, I guess.

15 May 2005

Medan

I dropped out of the sky today, finally, after hours of being on the move. Landed in Medan, Indonesia, on the island of Sumatra. Immigration immediately extracted from me a visa fee of $25, payable (of course!) in U.S. currency. My gear-laden bags zoomed through the x-ray check. Evidently they don't care what I do once I'm here as long as I pay the bill. I sat for a long time in front of the airport, merging with the swirling crowd, waiting for K. to arrive.

Finally he did, although his plane had been delayed. That has become the story of the day of course. Rather than being home for the night in Banda Aceh, we are currently remaining in the airport at Medan, waiting for our plane to show up. It is now officially 3 hours and 15 minutes late. And counting.

We are sitting in the airport lounge, after running out of other entertainment options. Other than my fitful sleep on the plane, I've been on the move for 40 hours. This explains why i am falling asleep as I type. This explains the keypad prints on my forehead. If anyone can understand this entry it is to your credit. I am too tired to tell if it is making any sense.

So I will stop for now.

14 May 2005

Changi

Another stop in the journey. The Singapore airport is a wonder. I'm playing around while I wait for my connecting flight (which isn't for another 6 hours or so.) Beware. If I can't find something else to do with my time, you may end up getting a whole lot of pictures of this place. I'm already dreaming up photo projects that I could do...

That being said I'll leave you with this wonderful bit of airplane reading:

I didn't believe we could lick such a crowd of Spaniards and A-rabs, but I wanted to see the camels and elephants, so I was on hand next day, Saturday, in the ambuscade; and when we got the word, we rushed out of the woods and down the hill. But there warn't no Spaniards and A-rabs, and there warn't no camels nor no elephants. It warn't anything but a Sunday-school picnic, and only a primer-class at that. We busted it up, and chased the children up the hollow; but we never got anything but some doughnuts and jam, though Ben Rogers got a rag doll, and Jo Harper got a hymn-book and a tract; and then the teacher charged in and made us drop everything and cut.

- Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Narita

Made it this far...

13 May 2005

Being Somewhere

As long as we continue to inhabit our bodies and navigate a path through the material world, no digital simulation will ever compare with the intense, unique, sensorial pleasure of being somewhere and making a mark.

- Rick Poynor, Print magazine, Jan/Feb 2005

12 May 2005

Heading Out

Preparing oneself for extended travel changes the way time flows. At least, that's how it seems to me. I'm leaving tomorrow for what will be nearly a month away. In the past few days, I've felt myself gradually starting to slip into the transitional, in-between-time-zone sort of time. It's really a mental state, of course. But it changes the way everything looks and feels. The clock hours get blurry and become inconsequential. The impact of sensory impressions is heightened -- colors scents sounds touches are more intense. I expect that it's mostly the anticipation of travel taking over. You start to see even your own backyard with new eyes as you ready yourself to be a traveler. It's also the fact that travel breaks you out of your own structures - even the rhythms of sunrise and sunset are disturbed, not to mention meal times and sleeping times and rush hour on the 210 freeway. All you have left is this moment, the now, these sensations on eye and ear and skin. I must admit that enjoy these times.

So I'm stepping off into that strange space for awhile. Tokyo Narita, Singapore Changi, and on to Indonesia. Then I will stop for a little while before the next chapter of the trip. I hope to be able to post pictures here. In any case, I'll still be around. I'll just be around a little further than usual.

Peace to you.

08 May 2005

One More From The Walk

Shiny Happy Flower

I know, I know, it's another picture of a flower. I was taking a walk in the canyon above the house and I couldn't resist. If you came here looking for something deep and artistic, I'm sorry. I just thought it was a nice flower.

I'll have more exotic fare soon. As hinted before I'll be traveling, heading out for a few weeks to Indonesia and Cambodia. I'll post bits of it when I can, which may not be very much right away, but eventually it will start showing up here. Stick around, if you're interested. It should be fun.

06 May 2005

Untitled IV

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05 May 2005

Tuesday Night At The Beach 2

Have I mentioned that this is a pretty great place to live?

Tuesday Night At The Beach

Solitude and a cloud a little larger than a man's hand.

In other news: See that distant, featureless horizon? I'll be flying that direction next week. Stay tuned for details...

03 May 2005

More About Light

The Lord God likes beauty: “And God saw the light, that it was good.” Note that God does not arbitrarily consider the light to be good; he does not define “good” so as to include light. If I may be allowed a simile, God is like an artist standing back from his creation and sizing it up. He likes the light, he finds it beautiful.

I am not suggesting the existence of any standard of beauty outside of the most beautiful, the God who is the source of beauty; but I do suggest that human delight in beauty can be but a shadow of God’s delight in it, and that if we do not cherish that love for beauty, we will find ourselves ill-attired for Paradise.

- Anthony Esolen, A Geography Of Kind

Yes. That's all I have to say about this. Simply, yes.

02 May 2005

Little Strands Of Light

It seems to me that sometimes we spend all our time hoping for the sun and missing the little strands of light that wind themselves moment by moment throughout our days. Maybe it's normal to look for the big show, normal to want more than this little candle to get us through the night. But maybe this is enough.

Crazy Prophet: In Times Of Drought

I love this story, partly because everything about Elijah is a little surreal and partly because it helps me believe just a little bit more in crazy things:

Elijah said to Ahab, "Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain."

So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. "Go and look toward the sea," he told his servant. And he went up and looked. "There is nothing there," he said. Seven times Elijah said, "Go back."

The seventh time the servant reported, "A cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea."

So Elijah said, "Go and tell Ahab, 'Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.' "

Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain came on and Ahab rode off to Jezreel. The power of the LORD came upon Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.

1 Kings 18