Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Not Everyone Is A Fan Of Movement...

la migra in the sky

and currently in this country that is best represented by the incredibly strong police presence along the US - Mexico border. I just returned from a few days in Tucson with Nikolio, and on Saturday we went to the Alto Arizona protest against SB1070 in Phoenix. The two cities are 120 miles apart, and in each direction we saw at least 5 tricked-out, camera-laden cop cars on the side of the highway, as well as helicopters overhead. The action was well-attended, though tame, and I was happy to see some homies who also migrated from afar to show their support for those in Arizona who are fighting this horrific bill. 

More photos and thoughts to come. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Daily Commute...

from Siem Reap into the countryside of Peak Sneng. The one hour return back to the city began on dirt roads bordered on either side by the few trees left in the area, the rest having been used for energy or sold for income. The leaves of the trees were coated, only on the top and in stark contrast to their green underbellies, with the red, red earth driven up from the ground by passing cars and motos. After about half an hour, our route became paved and took us through the Angkor Wat temple complex. The commute to work was spectacular, the best I've had the pleasure of taking. Plus, who could resist our driver Mr. Niem's bobble head horses? They're awesome.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Most Beautiful City In The World.

it ain't just a curvy street

Maybe. It's hard to commit to a definitive superlative like that. But sometimes I really think so. Not because of this one view, but because all around San Francisco one is exposed to arresting views and a visual stimulation that is arguably unparalleled. The water and the hills and the nature are mesmerizing and evoke emotions of wonder and awe. And here I'm just repeating the sentiments of many, as expressed for centuries. In Isabel Allende's Daughter of Fortune she echoes this in the passage,

"They spent the rest of the evening listening to the captain's wondrous stories about California, even though he hadn't been there since the discovery of gold and the only thing he could say about San Francisco was that is wasn't much of a town but that it did sit on the most beautiful bay in the world."

In the city itself there is lots of innovative architecture and design

though what gets me drooling are all the rides that are are just too too clean.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Traveling is Fun...

Traveling is fun because there is so much beauty in this vast and diverse land, even through a bug-splattered windshield.

driving into the Tucson sun as it sets

And when you turn your shotgun head to the right, there are all these wondrous things whirling by on the other side of the glass.

Like the green pastures of West Virginia

and the arid brush of central Texas.

The looming mountains and new blossoms of Arizona

alongside their majestic cacti companions.

SoCal holds its own, what with lush fields backdropped by mountain range and freight train 

brushing right up against the stunning starkness of the Algodones Dunes.

And there you are seeing it all go by...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sahara Chronicle

"The immense desert territory of the Tuareg was split in five by the colonial empires, covering substantial areas of Algeria, Libya, Mali, Niger and Chad. Tuareg existence is transnational by definition. They worked out a system of information, itineraries and topographic literacy to manage the most valuable resource in these latitudes: mobility. Revitalizing tribal bonds across borders, the nomads quickly organized the transport of migrants into an efficient network. On the Atlantic coast, new migration systems are emerging as the Straight of Gibraltar is sealed off. Here different networks intertwine and reorganize themselves as border regimes change."

- "Sahara Chronicle" is a collection of videos on mobility and the politics of containment in the Sahara. The multimedia exhibit is part of the geography of transterritories exhibition at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


"Our paths long ago diverged. But two decades on, the most recurrent features of my love life remain airplanes and letters. I've met people who can't separate love and lust; for me the tricky distinction is between love and wanderlust. They're both about wanting and seeking and hoping to be swept away, so lost in the moment that the rest of the world recedes from view.

Some people spend their lives looking for anchors. For years, I cut ties as fast as I formed them, always struggling to be free...

'Wanderlust,' the irresistible impulse to travel, is a perfect word, adopted untouched from the German, presumably because it couldn't be improved. Workarounds like the French 'passion du voyage' don't quite capture the same meaning. Wanderlust is not a passion for travel exactly, it's something more animal and more fickle - more like lust. We don't lust after very many things in life. We don't need words like 'worklust' or 'homemakinglust.' But travel? The essayist Anatole Boyard put it perfectly: 'Travel is like adultery: one is always tempted to be unfaithful to one's own country. To have imagination is inevitably to be dissatisfied with where you live... in our wanderlust, we are lovers looking for consummation.' "

 - From "Wanderlust" by Elisabeth Eaves in The Best Women's Travel Writing 2010, given to me by my Father Dearest and which has been my main road trip reading.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Birds Of A Feather

Though birds of a feather flock together, the flocking is pretty challenging for us birds with movement feathers, because by nature we are all over the place. I am very fortunate to have relationships with people I care about who approach their own lives with the same resistance to being sedentary as I do. Frankly, I do not know what I would do without them since much of the time I feel so different from other people because they don't seem to understand my "be everywhere" approach to living and how it works. And so I love getting off a long phone conversation with Boima, an amazing DJ, musician, youth worker and the Most Movingest Person I know, wherein we catch up on all our movement, share where we are going or trying to go next, and I hang up feeling close to him and reassured in myself because we are the same. Or, when I was in New York last week hanging out with Kashish, an awesome photographer, writer, environmentalist and Successful Multi-Continental Inhabitant, we caught up during a long, drizzly nighttime walk in midtown east. He talked about his recent road-tripping down to SXSW, and how smitten he was by New Orleans, so much so that he wants to move there (which sounds a lot like me and Mae Sot.) "But you wouldn't move there permanently, would you?" I asked. "Oh no." Kashish replied, shaking his head, because that's not how we think. The next move just leads to the next move, which is usually somewhere else. When a life-view is such that location isn't an issue, it is so inspirational and makes me feel like anything is possible, and like me Kashish has his homes in Kathmandu and NYC where he can and will return, but between those times it's anything goes.

Speaking of road trips, I decided two days ago to drive cross-country with Rachel from DC to LA, and we leave in a few days. I've always wanted make this journey but have not yet, and am so excited!! It also dovetails nicely with my preexisting plans to get out to the Bay sometime in April, so let's hear it for spontinaeity and a new adventure! On the way we will stay with at least one old friend I haven't seen in a while, Nicolas, a dope performer, educator, father  and all around Kick-Ass Raza that gets around this country of ours so much that I didn't even  know he was back in San Antonio. And since I haven't been out to the Bay in over a year, this next journey calls to mind what is probably the most reassuring thing about my relationships with these other birds and how we live our lives, which is that with all of us being on the go, we will always see each other again. It's only a matter of when, and where.