Shit makes excellent fertilizer

Hawkes Bay circa 2013

I’ve been talking, dreaming, writing and thinking in metaphors. It’s my thing these days – giving in to the urge to extract symbolic meaning from all of the weird experiences and situations I’ve found myself in lately. Call it the plight of a writer (if I can even call myself that), or the curse ofRead more

Same Boat, Different Rivers

A rickety old bridge over the Muong Hoa River in Ta Van in Lao Cai province in Northern Vietnam.

“I’ve never met another half before,” I said to him. “You have, I am sure. But they just didn’t tell you.” “Why?” I asked. “Shame.” Like me, he can pass as full-blooded. But look carefully and you can see the face of his father. A sharper nose, eyes the same color as mine: soft brown,Read more

To Be a Woman

Hmong women in Sapa, in the far north of Vietnam, follow tourists persuading them to buy small handmade items.  These women are making small bamboo grass animals.

Vietnamese women are beautiful. Small, delicate, graceful, they move through the chaos of Vietnam like exquisite underdogs. Physically, they are a generally flawless specimen. Thin, well-groomed, hair hanging long and straight like shiny black silk with unblemished skin protected from the sun as if its rays are toxic. Culturally and traditionally, they are perfection inRead more