The Bull Remains – 30th September 2022

The rain makes the dragonflies dance
Across the green rice field sea
Stalks quivering under droplets weight
Bent to the breeze in a quiet tango
Four rainbows beam from the mountain
Tin rooves announcing progress
Animals seek out shelter
Yet the bull remains, unamused

In recent seasons of being, I have had occasion to reflect on the utterly improbable trajectory of my life, plotted not by planning, but by living.

Carl Jung

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and relaxed.
Today I’m grateful for:
The coconut shop that makes delicious iced coconut water drinks. They are delicious but disappear too quickly like good things are supposed to.
The best thing about today was:
As I was walking to the coconut shop a school van pulled up, the door opened and I heard ‘teacher!’ and it was my student Baipad, who I found out lives next door but one to Black Smooth cafe. I think there are a couple of other students in my village but Baipad is the first I’ve actually seen around and all because I decided to walk instead of going by motorbike.

I took this picture because it was only by chance that I saw these strange star-shaped flowers on this cactus. Pretty and pretty interesting.

So It Goes – 29th September 2022

Moulded from broken sticks and mud
Bones wrapped in skin and filled with blood
Then lightning sparked man’s first feeling
And his survival seemed to be appealing
First, they fought over each other’s bread
Dashing rocks upon the head
Next, they fought over bits of dirt
The winners inflicting the most hurt
Then they fought over their beliefs
Despite the meetings of bigger chiefs
Fought and fought, spilt so much blood
Until the last was buried back in the mud

Not everything is something.


Today I’m feeling:
Tired but contented.
Today I’m grateful for:
My hammock, where I could enjoy a little cooling breeze as I did some school work and read a little before having a snooze.
The best thing about today was:
Sitting in the chair at the front of the house as the sun set and the sky darkened, as I drank a refreshing lemonade and enjoyed the neutral air on my skin. I sat and savoured this time as it may never happen again.
What three things did I accomplish today?
1. I finished adding attendance records for all my classes for the whole semester even though it was such short notice.
2. I finished reading A Portrait of Shunkin, a strange short story from Japan. It was evocative and provocative. I loved it.
3. I fixed up a little bit more in the garden. I’m too slow to keep it under control but I like to do a little bit here and there.

I took this picture because Anchan wanted more selfies but the main point here is that I was telling my students here about Hayden, as they asked me questions about my family. Yok is the boy sitting opposite me at the back and he was especially curious. He asked when I last saw Hayden and I said it was 3 years ago. Yok wrote (all this was using translation) that he was sorry and that he was rooting for me) and then he asked if I loved Hayden (presumably because it had been so long since seeing him) and I said ‘yes of course.’ Sadly, Yok then told me that his parents don’t care about him at all. I replied in translation ‘your teacher is rooting for you.’

The Diary That Was – 31st December 1979

Slow – 28th September 2022

The air is stuck
There’s no going anywhere
One step forward
It’s sideways from there
Invisible mud muddles
Through invisible puddles
Backed up traffic, stuck
Driving this torpid truck
Barely falling forward
Towards a future unseen
Holding onto the past
Where the memory’s been

The minute you hear ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ watch out because in a truly free nation, no one has to tell you you’re free.

Jacque Fresco

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and inspired.
Today I’m grateful for:
Pushing myself to go to Daytripper for coffee and to sit for an hour or more and prepare for class next semester. It was a nice space to be in and there were lots of uni students studying too. I’m grateful to have many choices for places to go to even though I rarely do so.
The best thing about today was:
Seeing an online post from my students saying how much they liked me as their teacher. That made me feel so happy! See photo entry.

I took this picture because I was truly heartened to see these words from Anchan. I can feel that she is mature in her thinking and attitude and I know she has to work hard at home after school too. I hope she becomes a great student and can have a bright future. I hope that for all my students.

Love Is Blind – 27th September 2022

Humbled to be the guide
The servant, the pupil
Heart soaring at every breath
And pluck of the string

Blind to her own beauty
Yet knowing it’s there
Seen by others without
Seen by one within

As the pale skin burns
He plucked out his eyes
So as never to forget
In his dreams, she is seen

Two united by cruelty
As ease in love, together
The lark and nightingale sing
Until they ascend the clouds

Inspired by A Portrait of Shunkin by Junichiro Tanizaki

Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.

from Slaughterhouse 5, Kurt Vonnegut

Today I’m feeling:
A little bored and tired.
Today I’m grateful for:
For the bananas that grew in the garden and fed me this afternoon. I don’t know why but it still delights me to be able to grow something and then eat it!
The best thing about today was:
Talking to Amy and discussing some future plans. She’s currently thinking she may move back here on my next visa extension which is great but I want her to have something to keep her occupied when she’s here so she doesn’t overthink things with so much free time.

I took this picture because I was sitting outside and talking on the phone with Amy and enjoying the dusk turn to darkness and the temperature was just right to stay a while and contemplate things. Zooming in on the picture shows a bright star on the horizon. Mars or the north star, I’m not smart enough to know.

Happy Endings – 26th September 2022

Did you plan for this deflated feeling?
Post-orgasm jism dripping from the ceiling
In the cold light of day lies the rub
Impatiently waiting for the next rub and tug
Dopamine rushes are in high demand
Sex supply is in the dollars command
Is it really just money you’re spending
As you chase after another happy ending?

Culture is a perversion. It fetishes objects, creates consumer mania, it preaches endless forms of false happiness, endless forms of false understanding in the form of squirrelly religions and silly cults. It invites people to dimish themselves and dehumanise themselves by behaving like machines.

Terrance McKenna

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and contented.
Today I’m grateful for:
Not having anything specific to do at school so I could just hang out with the kids for a while and we could communicate as best we could in English, Thai and with translation. I could also get to 22 Grams for my favourite coffee, sit and read, write and prepare some lessons for next semester. Everyone was in a good state of mind.
The best thing about today was:
Was just the sheer enjoyment of being around my students and hearing them play and having fun with each other and then with me. Everywhere I go students wave and beckon me over and want to try and chat about something. It really gives me great pleasure to be a minor part of their lives. I can remember a time in the past talking to my friends about becoming a barista or even a teacher and they all thought that I would be a great teacher. I’m trying and I’m enjoying trying.

I took this picture because…actually, my student Anchan insisted on taking some selfies using my phone and this is one of the results. Feije, Jet, Anchan and me. There was good energy today.

Top Trump – 25th September 2022

Don’t despair, it’s not your role
It’s not within your control
Rejoice at what you can decide
That’s all the gods deemed to provide

For me, insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity.

Jean Dubuffet

Today I’m feeling:
A little flat and lazy but still content.
Today I’m grateful for:
My poor motorbike which must hate me for taking it through wet dirt tracks and getting stuck in deep mud and slipping off into the prickly jungle brush. What a trooper of a machine. I hope you enjoyed your wash.
The best thing about today was:
Getting off my ass and going for a ride, getting stuck in mud and getting out again and then getting home thirsty and filthy. Sun, fresh air and accidental exercise. Another ride to remember.

I took this picture because it was at the end of a path around the base of a stone hill and despite not much else being around except a broken fallen down old shack, this little field shrine was well-kept and pretty.

Roundhouse – 24th September 2022

This is the house that time built
The 60s are just through the door
Another world, another lifetime
What were the billions gone all living for?
This is the house that time built
Educated to a level capability
Flexing muscles of hidden thoughts
Exercising a great mental agility
This is the house that time built
Once glorious yet now decrepit
All shall one day return to earth
No matter how amazingly intrepid

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.

Edward Abbey

Today I’m feeling:
Today I’m grateful for:
The chef at the shop next to Utopia for preparing me a delicious lunch to my requirements with yummy fresh tofu and crispy noodles to make lard na.
The best thing about today was:
Getting so many little things done but in a relaxing manner. Sometimes I struggle with motivation but today I managed to push through without feeling like I was forcing it.

I took this picture because I was walking home from Utopia and thinking about how to make an interesting picture. The three contrasting colours of yellow, green and blue along with the lines as seen from the ground level give this picture a more complex feel. I thought about straightening the picture but kind of like that it is a little off.

True Loves – 23rd September 2022

Sick and tired of freedom
I want to be a slave
I need to be kept in line
And told how to behave
I’ll gladly give up some rights
Just tell me what to do
I want someone else to think for me
I want it to be you

He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch.

Jean-Luc Godard

Today I’m feeling:
Today I’m grateful for:
All the many choices of different and delicious foods available so close to my home. It’s not often that I can’t decide or find what I want to eat.
The best thing about today was:
Listening to my student Feije singing and playing guitar. It’s great to see one of my students passionate about playing something other than mobile games or TikTok. She ran all the way over to the guitar room to bring one back to the classroom as I let them have free time. I also had fun with Mee, Yok and Kam with a silly fun game they had on their phone and also with another group of girls playing Uno.

I took this picture because Tokyo was in a friendly happy mood today and she’s lovely when she’s like that. She’s very possessive of what she perceives as her things and will quickly and easily bite you if you go near them.

The Week That Was – 23rd December 1979

Rolling In – 22nd September 2022

The bird in the limes whoops
‘Here comes the rain’
Ants busy themselves in relocation
Coming inside again
At each gust the bough twists
Fruit falls to the ground
A flash to signal cats
To hide from the oncoming sound
Low breaths hanging dark
Pushed frantically apace
Rapid gunfire hits the sheets
Falling around this place
The frogs shout out their pleasure
The cats, a-sleeping, wait
Again the birds are whooping
As the worms turn toward their fate

What we become depends on what we read after all the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books.

Thomas Carlyle

Today I’m feeling:
Tired but content
Today I’m grateful for:
My students at least seeming to understand what it is I want from them in class. They lose their bravado when having to talk with me one to one.
The best thing about today was:
Finishing classes early and being able to come home and have a sort of nap whilst listening to Sebka Chott, with Cap alongside me.

I took this picture because I love finding drawings of me in my student’s books. Some of these kids are quite talented.

The Week That Was – 16th December 1979

Time And Confusion – 21st September 2022

Get out of this confusion
The beat waiting to be found
Distraction is just an illusion
In which it’s easy to be drowned
There’s panic in the nation
To which is holding tight
The sense of coming elation
Knowing that the time is right

Most people are not even aware of their need to conform. They live under the illusion that they follow their own ideas and inclinations, that they are individualists, that they have arrived at their opinions as the result of their own thinking – and that it just happens that their ideas are the same as those of the majority.

Erich Fromm

Today I’m feeling:
Very contented.
Today I’m grateful for:
The staff at the shop who helped me sort out the problem with the power adaptor I bought yesterday, finally swapping out everything for a couple of others that were more expensive but they gave me for free. Unfortunately it still only charges slowly so I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet and buy the real thing again when I have enough money spare.
The best thing about today was:
Receiving weed through the mail from an online store. I tried a little in some tea and it tasted delicious but the only effect it’s had is to make me tired.

I took this picture because I could get home early and do anything I pleased. I’m very happy these days.