This is a new category of more in-depth, longform posts that are for subscribers of Kismuth’s ‘Lazy Sunday Longreads’, which you can sign up for when you select this ‘perk’ on our crowdfunding page, over here. If you’re asking, “Why a crowdfund, why not just ‘try to get this published?'”, let me spell it out. The reason this is set up like this is because it’s much, much better for me as a person exploring ideas and being in new places who wants to really see, really feel, the things as they are shared with me in moments of total trust and honesty (and which may not fit a Western hegemony’s philosophies, ahem) to have the space and freedom to write the things in the way I want, for the people who also ‘get it’ about this. Aesthetics of creative nonfiction by a writer like me, in a place like this… That’s better, I think, for the art, anyway. Just getting honester and honester, around here. Can you dig it? Great. Help me make it *happen*: sign up here.
‘I mean, I can. But it will cost $2,000 to deal with the hassle of it, I’ve been told. And sitting in hotels for two weeks in Phnom Penh? And what would I do once I got back there, anyway? I’ve been trying to find a new place to set up for a few years now. Went to Latvia to think about moving there, for example. Something different. Something new.’
I wrote about this week’s coming-up issue of S P A C E over at DK, and thought hard about what the idea of it is, why I wanted to write it, and what it means—to me, but also, to others, or at least, my understanding of what my own writing can do to illuminate a bit of one corner of one place for those who are in yet other places. Snapshot-like, and instantaneous, but in a more drawn-out way than something that is simply, presto!, cut and pasted, without taking the time to get to know a thing or person or place or style or even a language… more about that sometime… in general, my problem with most of what I read or find on the internet or in real life or on telly or on youtube is the great disappointment in seeing that things are shoved together quickly and with ‘impressive graphics’ or ‘fx’ or whatever. Generally, for me, I feel, and I might blame the Millenials for this, [deleted]… and so I hate the show they run. It lacks depth. I mean, like quality. Quality with a capital Q, like. Where is the quality, Gen Y? [deleted]
More to say, but I will save it for another time, where I feel like sharing and talking and exchanging in a way that I feel has quality—I’ve spent years looking at how to design the right space for that to *happen*, and that’s why I feel like I can talk about it now, more and more, and even more. I’m happy about this. I’ve learned a lot, all these years, and these days I get to apply what I know, in short ‘minitheaters’ and sometimes online salons. Kind of enjoying it all.
This book is the result of half a dozen trips to Việt Nam, and the conversations that emerged when I was, or wasn’t, looking, and the composite feeling of being-there, and being-there in those moments, of quality connection, deep feeling, and exchanges that came because we were all in the right mood for it.
Sometimes it happens. Sometimes it doesn’t. This book is an exploration of feelings that come when we allow ourselves to reflect, and recall, and then, to understand, slowly at first and then with more conviction… it’s okay to let things go. Boss took the cover pic of this short eBook back in March 2019 in Hà Nội. I was there with a handful of people for a meet up I had called ‘The Book of Red’, at a cafe called MadameHương. Reflecting, that moment and mood, and this pic, just fit. It spelled it all out for me, there and then, the vibe I got when I came to this city, every single time. Nostalgia… Things taper. Things come to a close. That’s how it goes sometimes. Here’s a story of how that feels, recorded in split moments, snapshot-like, as I found my way towards this unexpected, but warm, softening.