essays | places
a different strain of reality
Ta Prohm, Angkor / Cambodia · 2015 guardians of the past
If you were to ask me what you’re not asking, I’d have to say the plankton at night. A million green dots aglow in the black sea around my waist and a million white dots echoing in the black sky around my head. You can’t reduce any one country to any one thing, experience, moment, or place, and there were bat clans too, and trippy temples, and a ghost casino, and egg fetus soup, and Amok, but your gun to my head, I’d say the plankton. That was something that was something else – a self-sufficient, epiphanic mono-moment, void of distraction but teeming with all that matters. A different strain of reality came loose from that centering epicenter, and for a moment I was the only human in the whole wide sea privy to it. The fact that I don’t have a picture to prove it, proves it.
passages NECTAR & ROCKET FUEL | Her eyes were tied to the horizon, sucking it in, feeding her hunger for substantial existential beauty, quenching her thirst for natural native aesthetics and a home within herself. And when the eyes were full and the brain soaked, the view, ferrying a notion, trickled down her spine, esophagus and aorta, into her innermost, sweet and guilt-free nectar enriched with rocket fuel. And for a moment she flew away and beyond, and everything, every little and big thing outside her moment, settled for oblivion gladly.
Tucked away on the far side of the island, nowhere near the tourist village, they named it Lonely Beach; but there was plenty of company in the reefs just off the shore.
Koh Rong/ Cambodia · 2015 more sea for me
Battambang / Cambodia · 2015 rusty tears
Bayon Temple, Angkor / Cambodia · 2015 smirking stone
Bayon Temple, Angkor / Cambodia · 2015 eternal architecture
places / stories
Angkor / What Nature Will Get up to
Angkor Wat, Angkor / Cambodia · 2015 underwater temple
Angkor Wat, Angkor / Cambodia · 2015 right angle
Angkor Wat, Angkor / Cambodia · 2015 monkey boy
Nature stood her ground and took back every single inch humans had eased their grip on. She had always been there, in every single crack, outwaiting us effortlessly, having all the time in the world. Ta Phrom was an afterworld in the now, a beautiful forecast of what Nature will get up to once we’ve gotten rid of ourselves.
Ta Prohm, Angkor / Cambodia · 2015 nature's blueprint
Ta Prohm, Angkor / Cambodia · 2015 topless pit
Battambang / A Million Bats and Other Things
Battambang / Cambodia · 2015 collective organism
As night fell, they shot out of their cave by the millions to feast and live the life. And they did it all together, like one collective bat organism all in harmony, each kill a win for the home team, each bug a prize.
Battambang / Cambodia · 2015 Betty Buddha
Battambang / Cambodia · 2015 dirt road gang
And we would buy gasoline in Coke bottles and ride through the Hinterland on dirt and desire lines.
Battambang / Cambodia · 2015 river rises
Bokor Hill Station / Tracking Ghosts
Bokor Hill Station, Kampot / Cambodia · 2015 abandoned inside
First they came for the fame, then they came for the shame. And sifting through the debris of what had gone wrong, they tried to track the town’s ghosts up and down the abandoned hallways.
Bokor Hill Station, Kampot / Cambodia · 2015 time breaking
Bokor Hill Station, Kampot / Cambodia · 2015 window to the inside
Bokor Hill Station, Kampot/ Cambodia · 2015 silent echoes
Phnom Penh / Senses in a Knot
Phnom Penh / Cambodia · 2015 Mekong monk
Phnom Penh / Cambodia · 2015 downtown fishing
Phnom Penh had all your senses in a knot, and the mind mad and the heart sad, and then a backflip and a twist and suddenly everything at ease and in peace. Both the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng, the school turned prison turned Genocide Museum, were a dose of terror straight to the heart – a powerful reminder of the unfathomable abysses of human nature. The Buddhist temples and monks by the Mekong were the yang to that yin. In-between: above all, dizzying peculiarities and surreal memory-moments. Like someone sniffing glue and blowing it in my face in the middle of the promenade. Or the skillful bag snatchers disappearing into the night on their scooter while my short-term friend was frozen in time, muscle and brain, waiting for her conscious to catch up with the scene. It was the first time I had seen someone literally speechless. Phnom Penh was an unlikely place, and you could only believe it from the inside.
when you set out to see Everest, but Everest doesn’t care