Sunday, April 26, 2009

360 Degrees

So I pack a few clothes, shoes, laptop, books and my music which I consider to be my "army of thousands". Not having owned much in the way of material things, I give what little is left away. I hop on an Emirates Airbus 330 and head east. My destination, the Kingdom of Cambodia, it should take me roughly 30 odd hours to get there. Emirates is a fantastic airline, I have an array of entertainment to keep me occupied before my first stop in Dubai. I decide to watch the Top Gear crew ride motorcycles across Vietnam then a British sitcom about a group of IT geeks and finally Frost/Nixon which is an excellent movie. Nixon was a bastard and he's unlucky he didn't live long enough to see an even bigger bastard in Bush junior. All this is complimented by some excellent food, something with lamb, some tea and juice, all at several thousand feet. I arrive in Dubai at about 05:30 and get a chance to see it from the air at night. It's beautiful, the lights are amazing, and the highways are like long fiery serpents that wind their way across this desert land. The plane docks at terminal 3 and I step into the biggest airport I have ever visited, I'm afraid of getting lost but thankfully the entire place has signs all over and I make my way to the transfer desk so easily that I have to ask the lady if I'm in the right place. Speaking of which, the stewardesses are hot! Anyway departure is three hours later and I'm on my way to Bangkok and after doing a body odour check I realize that I should have taken a shower before I left for the airport. This time I'm on a Boeing 7something7, it's daytime and I can see the gulf state clearly. It's a marvellous city jutting out of the sand with tall towers everywhere. I remember looking out of the airport at the city and seeing construction cranes everywhere and it strikes me that man is still obsessed with building tall towers despite the failure of Babel. I wonder to myself whether this city has a soul to it, maybe one day I will find out or one who has been will tell me. We fly east and I get the sense that I'm time travelling because of all the time zone changes. The clouds are beautiful; the way the sunlight falls on them makes them look solid. I feel that I could walk on them. It saddens me that you are not here with me to see this beauty and I wonder if somewhere out there, maybe high above the world you can see it too. I watch 'The Secret Life of Bees' and am moved to tears.

I arrive in Bangkok at 18:30 and find the desk to get my next boarding pass, however I have to spend 12 hours waiting for my next flight. This guitar that I'm lugging around is beginning to annoy me but I keep my spirits up and decide to explore the airport. I spend the night visiting the smoking rooms which are a small mercy, riding the elevators drinking mochas and eating New York Subs. At one point I have a chat with Samir who works as a safety auditor on commercial ships for a Japanese company, I learn that there is such a discipline as Nautical Sciences and that he's been all over the world. He's been doing this for the last 14 years and is thinking of retiring and moving his family from India to Singapore. We talk about a lot of stuff, travel, the economy, Uganda, India, Japan, history and the future. It is a very welcome conversation and it whiles away the time. We say goodbye and head to get our various boarding passes. I get to the desk and present my ticket and I'm told I have to wait while they call Phnom Penh to verify my volunteer letter and that I should check back at 07:00. The flight is at 07:50 so this does not bother me. I find a comfortable spot and sit down to while away another 2 hours and then I run into Amkit.

Amkit is from Berkely, CA and is on his way to Kolkata, India to see his mother among other things. We begin chatting and it strikes us how lucky we are to have met at that point, I find him intriguing and full of life. Like me he is a hopeless romantic and has had his own fare share of heartbreak and he too is on a journey to heal his soul. I cut our conversation short because I have to go and get my boarding pass and he becomes concerned that he has offended me. I allay his fears and promise to come back and say bye after picking my boarding pass. I head back to the nice Thai lady and discover that I have to spend another 12 hours in the airport because she has not been able to contact the school in Phnom Penh and I have to take the evening flight. It is now Thursday morning and I have been awake since Tuesday 10:00am. Strangely I don't feel anything negative and I go off to find Amkit who is on phone with a friend back in the states. He invites me to have a chat with Esther who is a retired teacher and has just recovered from major surgery. I am struck by the simple beauty of the fact that I left home a few days ago and here I am with someone I've never met before talking to a stranger in a far off land. We are indeed all connected. After the phone call, he offers to buy me breakfast and we chat some more, he introduces me to the music of Asa which is to say the least lovely. I particularly like the song 360 Degrees which speaks to me in a way only Dincy would understand. I introduce him to the music of Henri Dikongue and he can barely hide his excitement. Some scrumptious Thai food, two cups of coffee, an exchange of ideas and dreams and a promise to keep in touch, we part ways and I busy myself with the internet and the smoking rooms while I await my flight.

I board another Airbus at 18:50 and head to Phnom Penh my journey already having been worth it. I am tired and I have kavubs but I feel inspired and alive.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Playing tip or was it spelled teep...

Normzo or Norma as I know him has seen fit to bestow upon me this prestigious award. I am over the moon, yup, like the cow in the nursery rhyme.
Okay, 7 blogs that I find brilliant.

Now 10 things about me

1. I have kissed the love of my life.
2. I have just upped and left the life I know for a far away country to teach English.
3. I enjoy smoking weed
4. I have an unyielding belief in the innate kindness of human beings
5. I will never know what it feels like to have a father
6. I am obsessed with "The Sandman"
7. I am not afraid to trust
8. I judge people by deed and word
9. I think that I am a feminist
10. I have overactive sweat glands, every time I am nervous or I exert myself a bit, my face is like a flowing river. So I like to be calm and collected.

Then the instructions for the 'chosen ones' ;
1.You must brag about the award
2.You must include the name of the blogger who bestowed the award on you and link back to the blogger
3.You must choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. 4.Show their names and links and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog.
5.List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself.Then pass it on with the instructions!

I guess that's about it....tag or're it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The fear you won't fall.

Then a woman said, "Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow."
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
.......................................................................................... The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran

I am sad, that is true. I am sad because of those who have gone before, I am sad because sometimes we have to say goodbye. I am sad because we as human beings seem to have failed to learn the lessons life has attempted to teach us. I am sad because of many things.

I am hopeful. I know that I am loved. I have learned how to love. I know what to do with my life. I have found the question for which love is the answer.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Taking Leave

So, I have arrived at this point. The many winding roads have led me here, the point at which I know with absolute certainty that I must leave you all. Ever since that February day, I have had but one desire and that is “to lay down my life and call it a day”. The sadness I feel each day is worse, everything here reminds of her and I know that the pain I feel will be with me until I draw my last breath. Only my simple belief in the kindness of strangers stays my hand, that and the desire to see the world, to save a life, to expend my life doing something good. It is now clear to me that I will never put down roots anywhere, the whole world is my home and yet I am a stranger here.
It is hard for me to say goodbye, I don’t know how to do it. I hope a few words will suffice.
I have always believed that lady luck looked at me when I was born and decided that it was not for me to win lotteries and grand prizes, I believe she simply whispered in my ear “You will have the fortune of meeting the most beautiful and lovely people”. It has been amazing knowing all of you.

Roger, you are an amazing person, one of the kindest people I’ve ever known. I can never pay back all that you’ve given me because you gave me my life when I thought I had lost it. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I know sometimes life is hard but if there’s anyone with the guts and belief to make it, it is you. I will always be proud to call you my brother.

Stella, I hope that one day you truly laugh and that those dark feelings leave you. I also hope that one day you find yourself, and that you embrace the simple miracle of being because life is simply just grand, you just have to breathe the free air to know it.

Mark, I pray you find the things that make you truly happy. It may seem that you were much happier in the yesteryears but “life has loveliness to sell” in amazing abundance. I know that the road ahead may sometimes seem difficult and the light may sometimes seem like it’s gone out. All I can tell you is to put one foot in front of the other and keep walking.

Googz, I hope one day you find the courage to let go of yourself and remember what it feels like to trust. Take a chance! No one has to do it alone.

Abbas don’t let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do; only you can tell yourself that. If it means that you must take a chance and go with blind faith then do it, you’ll be the better for it. I know you and Sheila will do some amazing things together, so don’t waste any time because life is short.

Jorge, I feel your pain, I hope one day it all works out. You’re one of the best people I know, I have faith that you will be okay. There is one out there, one that will love the pilgrim soul in you.

Kats, I wish you the happiest days of your life. You’ve got a good thing going, that girl and you. I thank you for offering wise counsel and pray that you continue to do so.

Nagi, have faith in your friends, do not be afraid to ask for a helping hand. That is what friends are for. Don’t lose the joker in you; life is too short to be too serious.

Dush, I wish you one more guardian angel to watch over you. I will never forget that we had that “profoundest moment” and I hope you never lose that foothold in Zion.

Dipo, I wish I had the time to figure you out. Sometimes you seem too angry and other times there is a happiness few really know. I know there is nothing more important in your life than your friends so I hope you’re always surrounded by the truest of friends. I also hope that you find that thing that makes you truly at peace.

Bams, I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors. Do not get lost in that world of numbers and derivatives and whatnot, take a moment every now and then and smell the flowers.

Kezie, I pray you find something that inspires you to change your life for the better. I feel that somewhere along the way, life’s most important lesson has been lost on you. I hope you get another chance to learn it before it’s too late. Remember, “You’ve got to give a little, to live a little”.

Miles, Gitta, Bits, Enan, Kagzi, Allano, Budi, Izak, Victor, all you nook and jeras niggaz, thank you for your friendship.

Fiona, I hope that the night sky and fireworks will always be amazing for you and that your life will always be filled with the loveliest music. It has been a pleasure knowing you. I will miss those conversations. I hope one day our paths cross and we can sit and share our experiences.

Pat, never forget that there is something nice and lovely about you.

Dimples, I pray that one day you find Isaac and all your dreams come true. Thank you for accepting me as I am, it is a rare thing indeed to be loved unconditionally. May you always have that sparkle in your eyes and that warm loving smile. Never let anyone tell you it’s wrong to give a damn because in the end only kindness matters. You are perfect, just keep being you.

Diana, I wish you many more lovely moments and years. I am sorry that I have fallen out of touch but I will never forget our friendship. I am sorry that I missed your wedding day; it hurts me that I did.

Trish, thank you for those wild and sweet moments of ecstasy and for giving me the definition of “making love”. There is one for you out there, I only ask that you find your voice and know yourself.

Penny; something tells me that if I had but talked with you a little more, I would have discovered another part of me. If anyone is equipped with the right stuff to find true happiness, it is you. Don’t ever forget that.

Scharlyne, I guess all I can say is that we all tread the roads we tread. I know yours leads to success and I hope you have happiness as your companion.

Esther, It was lovely while it lasted. I will not forget you and I wish you the best.

Jaq, you will always be a highlight in my life. Our shared love of words and beautiful things will endure and I know that we’ll be the best of friends to our dying days. I pray you find that friend who will cook you a soup to warm your soul.

Sam, you’re a sweet soul, gentle and kind. I pray you never lose that. Good luck with everything

Maria, the words are what matters, the things spoken, the sharing of knowledge, of values and of dreams; these are the things that matter between two people. Do the talk thing and you’ll understand each other. I hope one day you discover what you really desire to do.

Gloria, I wish you pure and simple happiness. I hope that you’ll get to run around with your grandchildren and give them fairytale names. Give Lorena a kiss for me and tell her I will write her a bedtime story one day.

Salomé, you’re in love with one who bears my name. I do not doubt that you will be okay. Enjoy every minute of it.

Tabitha, joy, love, peace, happiness, comfort, adventure and more; these are things that I wish for you.

Sarah, my friend and friend of my friend, I know we share the same pain and a hope that these things will make us better people; for both our sakes I believe this to be true. I will miss you dearly and that lovely way you smile. Have an amazing life.

Dincy, aaah, the wonder of you; our lives indeed are too strange for us. I feel the things that you feel and yet I must leave you. I go to heal myself and I hope you find a way to heal yourself too, I promise that I will keep checking on you and if I should return and find that you are not happy here I will take you with me. For my part I pray you have a beautiful life. These things that grow from empathy are comforting and hopeful. Thank you for being there.

Bré, I tried to say my goodbye yesterday and I know it will take me a long time to let go if ever. I will keep the fire burning however long the years may be. Even though it seems that I go to forget, I know that I never will. I take you with me; in the depths of my heart for you will always be what drives me. I will simply live my life in memory of you.

…and for all of you
I have a simple idea, that each and every one of us is unique. The moments that have brought you to be are in themselves so unique that there will never be another like you. I think that sometimes you forget something as simple as the fact that you are special.

The years lie before you; they are empty pages of a book, a book that tells the story of your life. You are the author and it is up to you to choose the words to put down. May you all write all manner of beautiful things and may you never forget that you hold the instruments of the storyteller, be they pen, pencil, keyboard or paintbrush. You are the author, your life will always be your own.

Be the best of friends, support each other, and do not be afraid to correct one another. Do not be quick to anger; try to understand each other instead. Work together so that you may all prosper, and remember that life is not a zero sum equation.

Friday, April 10, 2009

How to save a life?

I have been thinking about life. In fact I think about it a lot. What does it mean? What is my purpose? How can I know that I have done well with my fair share of it? These are all questions that only I can answer. No book or religion or person can tell me these things, but even as I write this I know that we as human beings are simply nothing more than the sum of our experiences. The things that we go through in life, the good and the bad determine how we look at life and give us the lessons we take with us on whatever path we tread. I have seen a few things here and there, experienced immeasurable joy and sorrow and like a rope maker I have beaten the strands and wisps that make the bonds of true friendship. I have always thought that my purpose in life was simply to love and to be loved and though life in all its fickleness has conspired to make me believe otherwise I have held fast to these beliefs. Now like some poet long since dead, I stand on the edge of a surf tormented shore and I ask the Gods that be, of small things and those of great consequence, that one day I can save a life. For then I will know that my life has been worth something and I will be absolved of all my indiscretions.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


For Dincy, thank you for being there and for knowing how I feel.

There will be storms, child
There will be storms
And with each tempest
You will seem to stand alone
Against cruel winds
But with time, the rage and fury
Shall subside And when the sky clears
You will find yourself
Clinging to someone
You would have never known
But for storms.
............................................Margie DeMerell