This is not NOT an essay.

This is audio footage of an essay I wrote a few weeks back about #BLM.

There is video footage, but, you see, what had happened was, I was in the moment. I didn’t even know I hit record or video record or whatever. I put my phone in my pocket, because I was holding my son and I was in the moment.

We’re on our front porch.

At 0:00, you see the marchers. Between then and 0:08 what you see is me fumbling with the dang phone and somehow I put the dang thing in my pocket but before that you’ll notice my white fist in the air and then, if you look real close, you’ll see goosebumps on my arm, meaning the hair on my arm and body is standing straight up and I’m in my feelings and those goosebumps are as real as the march before us, as real as a movement of people everywhere, as real as a father loves his son, loves his daughter, loves his wife. This is reality.

This is real.

At 0:14 you see one leg–Ava’s left leg–because Mama’s got her in the BabyBjorn and it’s a little embarrassing because it’s past two in the afternoon and baby Ava is still in her PJs, but I’ve been in PJs pretty much all of COVID-19 and I wonder who in their right mind wouldn’t be in PJs like that under these circumstances and all.

The rest of it looks like fly’s eyes, but it sounds nothing like flies.

Between the phone going in the pocket and 1-minute something, you can hear my wife repeat, “Yes” and me giggling again and again, and giggling is my go-to when I don’t know what else to do, but I can ensure you in this moment, them goosebumps got me crying. And, I don’t cry often so, in this moment, as I don’t know what to do with the wetness of my tears, I giggle still. My son keeps asking, “why do the cars go beep beep like that,” and our daughter is chilling in the BabyBjorn and we prompt her to say, “hi,” because we’re in the moment and that’s all we got in that moment and my wife’s Yeses make me believe a change is going to come. This time. Listen to her Yeses and believe too.

At approximately 1:26, a girl in the march yells, “your children are beautiful.” Thank you. Yes. Yes. Thank you. That’s right. Yes. That’s right. Yes. Yes. Thank you.

All those Thank Yous for the youth. They about to take it all.

Fist up high, Khalil. Higher. Higher still. And, we march. March. March. And now that is my favorite month forever and ever.




At 4:44: “we’re doing this for your children.”


Thank you.



At 5:34, my wife says, “we should have kept our sign.”

We can make new signs. We can. Yes, we can. (I keep revisiting these speeches because it’s absolutely necessary.) And we must address painful questions, white folk. Especially white folk.

After that, it’s nap time and wrinkly and no more Fly’s eyes. It sounds like we’re in a tent. We’re all in a tent, aren’t we?

One way or another.

This video goes six minutes and forty seconds, but it will last my lifetime and forever and forever because it has to.

I’m a writer, and I haven’t been able to write much since, well, COVID-19 and then and then, but I choose to find life right now and that’s enough for me to try again.


Forever and always: #BlackLivesMatter

And wear a damn mask.



Erupting Eruptions

It’s almost February, which means it’s almost been a year since I wrote anything on this blog. An un-updated blog is a vacant parking lot is a ball field at night with no lights is a sleeping volcano is a vending machine with no MoonPies, and then and then and then…

It takes time, I reckon, but writing can erupt, as can volcanoes:

Volcanoes erupt when molten rock called magma rises to the surface. Magma is formed when the earth’s mantle melts.

 Melting may happen where tectonic plates are pulling apart or where one plate is pushed down under another.

Magma is lighter than rock so rises towards the Earth’s surface. As the magma rises, bubbles of gas form inside it.

A few Sundays back, after my wife and I put our kids down to sleep for the night, I took our dog Bear for a walk along the paved paths winding around the ridiculously-sized swimming pools, tightly-trimmed grass, and tropical flora within the yard of our apartment complex. Bear’s a two-poop dog. Every time. No matter if it’s an early morning walk or on a night walk when, suddenly, ash begins to fall from the sky. No matter, he’s a two-poop dog.

I didn’t think: ash!?! I thought the falling particles might have been dust or some kind of dainty debris from the high-rise construction that surrounds our complex walls. None of this will not look the same in a few years that’s for sure. I thought it could have been a last-minute misty rain before we enter the cooler months here in the Philippines. To be honest, I didn’t think too much about it; there was poop to pick up.

It’s not that I haven’t been writing. There’s a novel pressure building, it’s just been slow. Brooding at times. Apathetically sweating out a sentence or two and then wondering what in the hell that sentence or two actually meant. They were just words and it can’t all be just words. Delete delete delete. Escape the blank page.

Other times, the tectonic plates are Mambo-ing and everything is flowing and spinning and slippery.

On my last blog I wrote about the weather in Poughkeepsie, which was really nothing about the weather in Poughkeepsie. This blog appears to be about bubbling gases and liquid hot magma, but, I have to admit, I haven’t had a haircut since October 22 when I last texted Rico, the barber.


The Taal Volcano is located in the southern part of Luzon island in the Province of Batangas. It’s a volcano island within a lake, which makes a full-on Alert Level 5 eruption even more messy. Here’s what Wikipedia reports:

The volcano erupted again on the afternoon of January 12, 2020, 43 years after the 1977 eruption, with the alert level of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology escalating from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 4.[31] It was an eruption from the main crater on Volcano Island. The eruption spewed ashes to Calabarzon, Metro Manila, some parts of Central Luzon and Pangasinan in Ilocos Region, which cancelled classes, work schedules, and flights.[32][33]

By Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 156 earthquakes had been felt in the area. We felt none here in the BGC.

Perhaps related, on the same day—January 15, 2020—the impeachment managers of the House walked their official articles to the Senate.

Magma rises.

No matter you’re political view or belief, I reckon eruptions of this scale are seismic. Or should be. Enough for food for thought, at least. A fodder of sorts.

The last few years have affected my writing, though, as an artist, I haven’t especially wanted to admit that. In the summer after the infamous 2016 election, during one of my MFA classes at the University of Alaska in Anchorage, we—students and professors alike—got into a rather interesting discussion about the influence of politics on art. Many said, well, yes, you can’t NOT write about Trump (and all his bullshit). Others, like myself, said, no, art is a sacred place of exploration and frolicking and experimenting.

I’m not so sure I agree with that thought any more.

PBS says, “volcanologists can only offer probabilities that an even will occur; they can never be sure how severe a predicted eruption will be or, for that matter, whether it will even break the surface.

While waiting, I’ve been reading. A lot.

Everything Otessa Moshfegh. Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend. Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise. Lisa Halliday’s Asymmetry. The Mars Room (Rachel Kushner); No One Belongs Here More Than You (Miranda July); Heavy by Kiese Laymon; The Bell Jar; Ocean VuongNormal People (Sally Rooney); a close re-reading of Vonnegut’s Slaughter House 5 (Kurt Vonnegut), and then and then and then.

I’d say reading is the best way for anybody to get their tectonic plates pushing and pulling and their mantle melting.

Art is a sacred place. And, or but, I can’t seem to get this one kavanaugh out of my head, which, when not capitalized and slightly slurred sounds like some sort of bad rash, and I can’t help but think about what character, as a father and teacher of children actually means, and so on, and I wonder if the art gods are telling me something, and then there’s: ANGELA CARTER

Eruptions of this scale are seismic.

So it (the writing) goes.

And: “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’, into the future.”

I’ll end this blog with a link to 65 of Trump’s worst tweets (which is only updated as of 10.26.2019, so I imagine we could expand this list exponentially) and a link to 123 Of The Most Powerful Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes Ever, a link to lightning striking, and an admission that eruptions continue to erupt all around us all the time. We should read and be ready. Stay safe.



The Weather in Poughkeepsie

This isn’t about the weather in Poughkeepsie. I’m no weatherman, and, anyway, everyone knows what the weather is these days in places like Poughkeepsie. It’s the same weather that’s hit much of America. It’s Polar Vortex weather.

On the word whether, I wonder whether you’ve read any of Elwyn Brooks White’s essays? If you have not, I highly recommend his collection (originally published in 1977). His essays often wander and play with tangents more than a high school Geometry class. It’s a lovely and unassuming collection, but poignant, too. Timely work, if you ask me. Something not to be forgotten or overlooked. His voice is full of empathy and metaphor. To put it bluntly, he uses metaphor brilliantly. He wrote many of those essays on a farm somewhere near-ish to Poughkeepsie.

At the school where I work we’re in the fog of the second semester, and in my English classes I brainstorm with students about whether or not weather might be a metaphor. A math test can be a breeze (not for me). Someone can storm into the room. The morning can be a whirlwind. You can shower someone with gifts. Sure, weather can be a metaphor. It’s fodder for the critical reader. The weather can also build setting, context, a scene or mood. The weather might even be a character or a plot device.

I wonder though, is weather ever just weather?

When my cousin’s wife emailed me from Poughkeepsie that it was -1 degree C—her name by the way is Lovie—she also mentioned by name that devilish weather system: the Polar Vortex.

“Jesus”—I wrote in my reply—“Polar Vortex sounds like a really bad hip injury.”

Can you see it?

Doctor: What seems to be the problem today?

You: I don’t know, Doc. When I _______ I felt something ________.

Doctor: Hmm…

(Doctor scribbles a tornado of notes on the notepad)

You: What?

Doctor: You mean it went like ___________.

You: Yes! Just like that.

Doctor: Sounds like the classic case of a Polar—

You: No, not that!

Doctor: I’m afraid so.

 All (in unison): A Polar Vortex!

Doctor: I’m afraid it’s going to be a long, long winter.

We drove south for the weekend—my wife, two-year-old son, and I. We started in Manila, where we’ve been living since August, and took the SLEX South road through Taguig and Paranaque and on through Calamba. Along the way, there are several road stops which offer Petrol and Starbucks and Jollibee and then the road narrows when you get to Batangas and onto Bauan and then it all goes topsy-turvy when you get to Mabini, a municipality of a mere 46,000 compared to Manila (population 22 million). We ended at our destination—and our storm-free three-day weekend—some three plus hours later at Lilom.

Over the long weekend, my wife and I small talked about parenthood. We have another on the way, so baby-talk takes over easily these days. We know what we’re in for: man-on-man defense for the next several years. We both agreed that as much as we love our son, there are moments, sometime hours (perhaps days) when parenting is more grueling than, sigh, sunshine. Every parent has been there in his or her own way.

I suggested to my wife that, sometimes, taking care of little man is sort of, like, I’m just trying to pass the time until he naps or sleeps and then you have a moment of peace and calm. It’s like you can, sort of, breathe again.

It’s kind of like waiting out the cold or recovering from a Polar Vortex or, even worse, surviving the long days and nights of an incompetent president.

Everyone knows what the weather is these days, remember?

No, by the way, I’m not comparing my son to the Polar Vortex. That’s a bit hyperbolic, don’t you think? We had a delightful weekend. It was one of those weekends when you think, yep, I can do this. I got this. Bring on another two babies. One morning, my son and I took a walk along the shores of the Philippine Sea where wooden boats with names like InfinityTwo and Crystal Blue and Adventurer stenciled on the side docked and waited for divers to embark. The waves teetered at a pace my son could conquer and smile at. We played and climbed and shoveled sand and threw seashells. The sun was warm, the morning glorious.

Neither is my son anything like our current president. I know I’m a bit biased, but my son is much more mature. He knows how to say thank you (and mean it) and say sorry before a storm’s a-brewing. If he built a wall it’d be made of something tasteful and useful, like cheddar cheese, marshmallows, or Legos. My son likes to share and give hugs. He has way more empathy than Trump and wouldn’t even know where or how to begin a late-night Twitter fight.

I guess, this too shall pass. The cold, I mean. We just have to remember to hug onto each other a little tighter and use our shovels with more grunt force especially when our president says things that makes our country feel even more frigid and torrential.

How do you read it all?

I tell my son it’s okay when we’re frustrated and angry, we just have to breathe and start anew. Find a better way. Yes, We Can.

Remember that rainbow of hope?

Even when we’re fighting something as brutal as a Polar Vortex.

Yes. We Can.





Fort Culture:09/16/2018

There’s a typhoon outside and that’s literal. From the balcony windows, we watch slanted sheets of rain rush from the sky. Storm winds sway the native Arecaceae and shoo debris every which way like a rag doll. It’s all swooshing and swirling and rushing, but we live in the Fort.

That’s not a literal fort structure. It’s Fort Bonifacio, aka BGC, aka Global City. It is a former military fort—originally named Fort McKinley after US President McKinley (circa 1902) and later renamed Fort Bonifacio (circa 1957) after Filipino hero Andres Bonifacio. Today, however, there are few remnants of that former fort world, though I’m sure typhoons hit then as Typhoon Mangkhut strikes now. What did it all look like back then? Today, the Fort is comforted by posh apartments and very well air-conditioned malls and shopping strips. We live on one side of the Fort, and then there is the other side.

On the topic of forts, some change and some stay the same. The people of Oguaa founded the city of Cape Coast, which later became a Portuguese trading fort post, which later became a Castle by way of the Swedish Africa Company, which then moved to Dutch hands, and then on to the British, wherein it became a dungeon for slaves before they were sold and shipped to the New World.

Today, it’s a museum.

On the western-most tip of the African continent, there’s a similar structure erected on Goree Island in Senegal. Another West African slave fort, one of thousands.

Where do storms come from anyway? Typhoons and hurricanes? From the ocean, from the tides, from the heat and humidity. Hurricane Florence was once just a rain shower in Dakar.

Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 12.02.01 PM.png

US Soldiers are fleeing to Fort Bragg to help those whose forts could not hold up to Hurricane Florence, that flood-maker. Some folks are stranded, maybe waiting it out on a rooftop or wading through a neighborhood street that was, just a few hours earlier, asphalt, curb, and sidewalk.

It’s no surprise that Fort Bragg is at the epicenter of the relief in the Carolinas. It is one of the largest military installations in the world. Confederate Army officer Braxton Bragg (for whom Fort Bragg is named) would be honored to see how American troops rally for those in need.

To see how America rallies for all people in need.

(To see how America rallies for all voices not because we ‘tolerate’ but because we ‘accept’ and listen to all voices? We the People. To see how the leaders of America “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty?” We the People…)

Does it always take a storm to rally like that?

I’m not sure where typhoons come from, but it must start from something afar, too, like with the hurricane. Most of the Mangkhut’s damage will be in northern Luzon and then move on to Hong Kong and mainland China.

Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 12.38.11 PM.png

Filipinos are already talking about the damage. What’s to come. My mom drove to Virginia to avoid Florence. Who wants to sit through a storm without some atom of assurance that the sun will shine again?

I feel guilty as hell watching it all from through my window.

We all need a fort.

Typhoon Mangkhut is hitting the Philippines, while Hurricane Florence hits the east coast, and I see the news is covering both pretty heavily. Funny how storms strike and how the world reads about it.


Laos: 0930-1006

After the turbulence and whisking clouds, the sky clears. 10 minutes to land. The dirt roads below remind you of the deep red earth between Lusaka and Livingston where elephants roam and you can buy fat cake and fried fish heads at road-side stands. From above, Vientiane looks a lot like deep red dirt roads. And green countryside. And murky rice paddies. It’s barely October…


First breakfast: two fried eggs. Then pork noodle soup, which looks and tastes like Pho, only this has no fish balls.

“How do Laos people drink coffee?”

The hotel restaurant waitress gives me a look, then she says, “you mean what’s the Laos coffee like?”

Her question is better. “Yes!”

“They put the condensed milk with the coffee and sweetener, but maybe it’s too sweet…for you.”

“Can I order—”

She shakes her head no. “Here we don’t have. You want Latte? Cappuccino?”

“Black coffee is okay.”

Slurps of pork noodle soup later, she returns. “One of the cleaner ladies here brings the Laos coffee every day. We will bring you some to try. It’s okay?”


“It’s just a small. Just to try.”

She returns with the drink on ice. It’s super savory and very sweet and milky; it complements the humid morning warm…


The hotel concierge presents a map of downtown Vientiane. She circles the hotel off Quai Fa Ngum.

“What must we see or do today?”

She writes “Hopeko” by one landmark to the far right of the map. “15-minute walk here,” she says, “maybe twenty.” She circles a few other locations.

“These are temples?”

“Temples. Yes.”

The manager, a French man, arrives then. “Have you been to Paris,” he says.


He circles another landmark on the map. “You must see this one. C’est tres magnifique.”

Outside, the air is clammy. On one side of Rue Settathirath, a gaggle of electric wires hangs and runs parallel with the road. Coffee shops and bakeries and French colonial architecture that reminds you of downtown Dakar. The narrow alleyways and worn buildings that could tell a million stories about back then. Instead of the tired yellow, bumble-bee taxis in Dakar, here there are three-wheeled tuk tuks painted heavy blue or green. Left on Avenue Lang Xang until Patouxay. Remember the Arc de Triomphe in Paris? Same-same, but different. Laotian mythology lives in the arc’s ceiling. Two photos by the fountain with Patouxay in the background cost 40,000 Kip…



Sharing several Beerlaos with an expat Aussie friend. Earlier today, the Richmond Tigers defeated the Adelaide Crows in the Australian Football League, which is a big deal for some Melbourne fans. She says there’s no western fast food in Laos. She says: “No KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, or Starbucks.”

“Yummy. Why not?”

“They’re still pissed at America for Vietnam,” she says.

Over 600,000 US bombing missions occurred during the Vietnam war. Because of Laos’ proximity to Vietnam, they bore the pain of many of those missions, and today, the remnants of that past are called “bombies” and they lie in the rich soil, ready to detonate, mostly in the north-east and east of Laos and each is the size of a tennis ball and filled with steel pellets. In 2006, the Vientiane Times reported that “about 400 people are killed or injured by unexploded ordinance (UXO) in Laos each year.” Another, more recent on-line site,, states that at least 20,000 lives have been lost since the end of Vietnam because of these leftover “bombies.”

Make Laos “Bombie” Free Again…

The beer is good and cold. She orders several dishes. The best is the fish served out of a plastic bag. The sauce is gooey and thick and just a tad spicy. Laos is a communist country so the conversation moves toward China. When I ask if Laos and China are partners, she nods no.

“I wouldn’t say they’re partners with China,” she says. She leans in and moves her hands toward each other like they want to choke or strangle something. She says China has dammed the Mekong and keeps damming the Mekong. Damn. Now, the Mekong is more difficult to predict. You think about cartoon analogies, because sometimes cartoons make more sense than real life. You picture Gargamel’s wicked, intruding hands harassing Smurf nation to make gold…She’s a writer too and you talk about how difficult dialogue is to capture—among other things. The Beerlao is starting to take effect, but the “bombies” are on your mind because you think that’s another sad story to hear about the world…


On a plane to Pakse. In the seat pocket, Champa Meuanglao: a charming magazine, and on page 40, there’s “The Tale of the Lady Fish” in both English and in Lao. You fall into the tale and you wish your culture had tales like this one to tout as your own. Maybe it does, but you’re not sure. Does the Sons of the American Revolution count? Here in Laos, the Pa Nang fish has only half a ribcage…

“Long, long ago, our ancestors spoke of a beautiful and magical princess, whose comeliness and virtue were reminiscent of those of the legendary Nang Soumountha. It was said that whoever was honorable enough to wed the princess would bring tremendous prosperity and richness to his people…her beauty spread far and wide across the many kingdoms, finally capturing the hearts of two valiant princes of two of the most powerful kingdoms in all the land…”

You already know how this will end. You look out the window of the twin-engine plane and down below and, Jesus, it really does look like sub-Saharan Africa. Back when you were in the Peace Corps, in northern Namibia, in Owamboland, in the tropical savannah, in the African Bush where the world was all relative to the dry and wet season, and everything on the radio was local Kwaito and Brenda Fassie, and almost every taxi driver in Owambo had a cassette tape of Don Williams.

Don Williams?

Don Williams, you remember? You wondered then how in the hell Owamboland attained Don Williams cassette tapes. You’re not sure what album it was—that doesn’t really matter, does it? It’s all kind of like that documentary Searching for Sugar Man. Or something like that. You haven’t listened to Don Williams since, but back then you memorized every song because you could envision the lyrics when you had to do chores like fetch water (eta omeya) or look after the goats and cows in the fields (you forgot that Oshiwambo phrase). Or maybe you just memorized Don Williams, because Don Williams was so slow and easy to memorize. It was easier than the CDs you had at the time for your Sony Discman: Rage Against the Machine, Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun, Prince’s Musicology, Led Zeppelin II, and Enter the Wu-Tang.

“Realising that neither [prince] would yield, the princess, in a selflessly heroic move, sacrificed her own life to save the thousands that would die in warfare. Before her untimely death, she instructed her trusted aides to halve her body and offer one side each to both princes…The princes woefully did as they had been instructed. Once each half had been submerged into the water, it magically became a fish, and like the form from which it came, had only half of a ribcage…”

Wu-Tang Clan Forever…


Champasak is a sleepy village, but in ancient times it was the King’s home. You’ve been to Angor Wat, and this is nothing—absolutely nothing—like Angor Wat, but it’s kind of better because there’s no one here and it’s foggy and it might rain soon and your son is on your chest and you’re wandering through an ancient village. You make it to the top and the views are better than Angor Wat, but you shouldn’t compare, you’re just saying, right. There’s a temple at the top. You’re not sure how Hindu and Buddhism bleed together here, does it matter? There are relics and there’s burning incense. You make a prayer with your wife and son because yesterday a lot of lives were lost in Vegas and maybe, you think, America needs prayer from where you are. Meanwhile, the Mekong keeps moving…


Champasak sits right on the wide, milky-looking, moving-at-snail-pace Mekong river. It moves faster than it looks though and the mythical serpent-like Phaya Naga lives in the waters.

You commit to running every morning. It’s barely six, but the sun pokes through the bloated cloud cover and the roosters are crowing and your son isn’t awake yet, so, you know, it’s now or never. You take the main road first. You pass road-side shops selling everyday stuff, like stuff you’d buy once every few months at COSTCO or Target. The rice paddies here are lush green and full; rice grass sways with the breeze. The cattle look more like water buffalo than cattle. The houses are built on stilts, and you wonder if the Mekong gets this high, but later, you learn, because you ask, that, no, the Mekong doesn’t get that high here, but the stilted houses allow for a cool place for families to sit and relax and feel the breeze. Every house should be built on stilts then.

There are dogs on your run, and you think, no way you’re afraid of these dogs, and only one comes at you, running like it might snip at you, and you stop and point at it, and say, “no,” and the dog stops then, really afraid of you, and you turn and keep running and feel bad when you pass a monastery where a line of monks, draped in deep orange and maroon robes, walk. They’re serene, but determined, and you’re not sure if that’s accurate because you only get a snapshot of now. You keep running and see more monks and cut back off the main road and loop back along the even-more narrow road that hugs the Mekong. Families and shop owners are on their knees, holding out alms and food—sticky rice and fruit and hard boiled eggs—and they wait for the monks to arrive and pray over their residence and work place. As you run, you watch a few exchanges. It seems dogmatic, sure, but feels real. To submit to something. That always feels real.

After your run, you watch a crew team sprint up and down the Mekong. They chant. There’s a rhythm to it that you can count, but you don’t understand the words. Is it kind of like jiayou in Chinese? At the back of the boat, one man sort of kneels so he’s higher than the others. He’s looking out in front of everyone, directing them by knocking on the boat’s side with his oar in between the rhythm of the team’s rowing.


At a recommended restaurant for lunch. The owner speaks English. You order Beef Laap.

“North Laap and south Laap is very different,” she says.

You have no point of reference, but you say, “yeah? How are they different?”

“South is more spicy.”

You order more fried fish in chili sauce and take a drink of papaya juice.

She says she has a one month-old son. “It’s good luck if the son looks like the mother and the daughter looks like the father,” she says.

My wife and I look at each other and then at our son and then to her.

“You have very good luck,” she says…


The next morning, you don’t wake as early, but the roosters are still crowing and there are no clouds, but the sun’s not so high, so it’s still early. On your run, you miss the monks, but this time you pass children walking and biking to school. They are wearing their school uniform: crisp, white, buttoned-up collar shirt and navy blue pants.



You just learned that word, but it’s the greatest phrase ever. It’s almost as great as “Asalamalakum.”




Every morning should be like this one.

You run.

Green. Lush. Overflowing rice paddies.

You run.

Cattle sauntering through fields, neck bells cackling.

You run.

Stilted, cozy houses on the horizon. Chicken satays grilling on road-side stands.

You run.

There’s a dog.

You run.



You run…you could run like this for miles and miles.


Or kilometers of monasteries…


On your last morning in Champasak, you decide not to run. You’ll take a bike ride with your son or take a walk or do something else, like read. Grey, dusty clouds hover over the Mekong. They don’t look like they’re going to move any time soon, and you think it might rain. There are other things to write, for sure, but you don’t want to think too hard about Laos. It’s too beautiful and peaceful and serene. You spend your last few hours thinking about how to submit to it all…