On Writing

Charlene journal

Singapore To write is to make a clearing in the wilderness in which, almost literally, you can see the wood from the trees. In the thick of anything, you hardly know who you are or where you’re going (which is the redeeming power of experience); at your desk, recollecting emotion in tranquility, helped by memory’s editing devices and imagination’s hunger for possibility, you take something that might only have been heartache and turn it into something more provocative, enriching, and even instructive. – from Writing Undoes Me, by Pico Iyer It’s been a week and a half since I’ve been on the new job. My work in Preemptive Love, is telling stories. Through words, still photographs, and/or video. As I’m working remotely at the moment, …

What I miss

Charlene journal 3 Comments

Enormous highways to forever. The feel of a powerful vehicle responding to my touch. A dry salt wind from deserts truncated by the ocean. Walking, where it is life and love and the very breath of these things, unstoppable for the sheer force of forward impulse. Not dulled by the hobbles of practical function. Unclouded vision for a perfect shard of light filtering through the dead monoliths of a concrete jungle, to illuminate a single flower on a stem. Solitude. Waking to the impossible fire of life, as more than a schizophrenic deception. The memory of a world not this strange gilded hamster-cage of a country, where there is only duty and unspoken rituals impossible to decipher. The silent reproach for the fallen, summoned from depths of hollow …

Learning the simple things in a roundabout way: on 8 months of being a gypsy

Charlene journal, vagabonding 12 Comments

18 July 2013: I spent my six month milestone as a vagrant in the air, fittingly, enroute to Copenhagen from Montreal, marked by as unbelievable a sunrise as I’ve ever seen. Descending into Iceland for a seven hour transit, just above the sweep of plane wing, the red band of sunlight from the approaching dawn poured blood orange onto a sea of altocumulus clouds as the sun climbed the dark skies to light a brand new day. 

Reflections on Junction

Charlene journal, vagabonding 7 Comments

Let me stake a claim about landscape/nature photography here: it does nothing for me. I can, and do, appreciate landscape photos from a technical perspective. But emotionally, they leave me cold. There’s something about the perfect beauty of an excellent landscape photo that seems to shut my engagement down. I’m compelled by imperfection for reasons I’ve never looked into, but they are doubtless why I thrive visually on gritty environments/things and misshapen industrial vessels. In mid-May, I got on a Greyhound to Lubbock, Texas. I was looking forward to finally meeting Jerod Foster in real life after a few years of chatting with him on Twitter, and attending his much talked about Texas Tech photography workshop in Junction, which is basically… …wait for it: An …

Invoking The Magic Of The Open Road

Charlene journal, vagabonding 19 Comments

Magic comes from what is inside you. It is a part of you. You can’t weave together a spell that you don’t believe in. ― Jim Butcher April 2013 3 weeks. 4500 miles. A car that started out black and came back grey-brown from a solid caking of road dust. A 901st birthday, and the sort of landscapes that didn’t exist in my reality until then. Being able to drive endlessly again, winging down open New Mexican highways with a Jedi time lord and the soundtrack to life. 

Three months of travel: a reflection on old Mexico

Charlene journal, vagabonding 16 Comments

I’ve been on the road for three and a half months at the writing of this post. There have been surprises around every turn. I never thought I would gather up enough guts to do this solo travelling thing, and truth be told, I’ve been scared everytime I’ve had to pack up and get myself somewhere: Seattle, La Paz, Mexico City, Albuquerque. My fears were realised during the last border crossing from Mexico into the US at the start of April, which had me convinced, at certain points, that I wasn’t getting into the country. 

Home: who your heart’s with (part 2 of 2)

Charlene vagabonding 15 Comments

“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.” ― Jon Katz Amigo/Amiga de corazón. Friend of the heart. This phrase was one of the first I learnt in Spanish. It’s a beautiful way to refer to one’s true friends.