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.
I will try. To write the things. Straight up, without the abstraction that I usually put into these notes. Because it’s simplifying it: just telling a story, as it is, without getting lost in the mindscapes and instead focusing on the actual being there part.
The look and feel; the moment’s quintessences. There are multiple ones. As if, there are instances of it, and levels, and layers, too.
But wait. This is the reflection bit that I said I would leave to the side, and get to plot and stuff, just write the daily stories, here, where I am. In Vietnam. So. Let me back up, and talk about the story as it started, when it did, three days ago. Three, only just three. My, a world can open, in the space of 72 hours.
I’ll put the feelings together, the new covid cases and the news of those and how it’s been playing out, here. Another chapter for EotR, which is set in this place where I am since it rains nicely, often, and that reminds me of West Cork.
So, it begins.
A new start.
A lovely sunny day… Một ngày nắng đẹp
And finding yourself in the world… Tìm mình trong thế giới
These are the things. Themes. Along with of course illusions, which relate quite tidily with the premise of EotR.
I’ll share the local stories that are coming into shape in a new fashion very soon, with V. Who has inspired these new beginnings. I started again, today, in a new vein and I think… it’s rather sprightly. This is different. This is new. All kinds of amazing things are starting to uncalculate, and it’s okay if they don’t make an equation again, because maybe there just aren’t any rigid ‘fixed’ quantities, anyway, and you just have to be okay with ‘uncertainty’ in the cloud, if that’s where you are, and I think… sometimes that’s where I am, but also, I forgot, I’m here, too.
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.