Category: Creative Non-Fiction

Read More
Prayer Wheels, Labrang Si Monastery, Xiahe, Gansu Province, The People's Republic of China

Prayer Wheels

Clockwise. Always clockwise. Clockwise round. Walking, spinning. Always clockwise. The wheels turn, continue turning, after they pass. Some turn and turn and turn while others fight against the inertia. Pilgrims, bright and tattered, or bright, or tattered. Some of these too will turn and turn, always clockwise, round the cluster of buildings capped in gold and brass at Labrangsi.

I will not count them: the prayer wheels, the meters, the pilgrims, the steps, the number of times I will feel the smooth patina of wood against my palm. I say to Emma: “I want to do this.” She assents.

Read More
Near Joshua Tree National Park, California, United States of America

Velocity

The world reels by, unfurling at 90 miles an hour. At this speed, travel gains the sense of dance even on a relatively straight, flat interstate such as this section of I-395. I am aware of the countryside, the gentle undulations of the valley floor contrasting the angular gyrations of slowly eroding hillsides; I am aware of the thinning stands of Joshua Tree and can pick out a few individual shapes for their magnificence or their decrepitude; I notice the snowline band so evenly frosting the hill tops, that I am climbing toward the line, that I am now above it and that the snow along the roadside proceeds from spare dollops to a thin crust with mesquite poking through.

Read More
Wat Arun, from Tha Tien, Bangkok, Thailand

Tha Tien

I am sitting over a bowl of Tom Yum soup and a Singha, both a perfect antidote for heat and humidity. Large prawns spooned out of an oily, spicy broth. Baby corn cobs, fresh picked, are an explosion of flavour, like an entire cob of spring corn in a single bite. I chill my burning lips with a draft from the Singha, an ice cold lager which makes up with chill effervescence what it lacks in taste.

Read More
lager

Lager

My housemate was in New Orleans while I manned the fort during a dreary Vancouver March. It’s a singularly moist, grey and cold month, March in Vancouver. Sometimes a several-days-long hint of summer makes a foray into March which, rather than the reprieve it might otherwise be, only makes the return of cold wet seem all the more, well, cold and wet.