Nothing is nothing for long

A dear friend recently asked me:

What is love? Is there such thing?

And why do we have to grow up? rusty and weary and slowly dying inside before the skin even wrinkles? 

Why do we have feelings? and empathy? and mercy? and compassion?

Why do we need all that? do we even need all that?

But what is love?

I did not know what to say for a long time, until some recent inspiration. And this is what I responded:

Love is nothing.
The best things in life are not the hardest to get to, they are the hardest to hold-onto. 
Fleeting, fickle, momentary, superfluous, fragile, effervescent. 
They appear, surprise us, enlighten us, delight us, disappear, re-appear, vanish.
Life is not a linear journey. We do not grow up with time, constantly, minute by minute, incrementally.
We grow up in bursts, sprints, leaps, bounds, quarks, anti-quarks, via transportation and displacement. 
We grow up with every scintillating, halting, experience of love, happiness, joy, empathy, understanding, appreciation, compassion, of humanity.
Love is everything.
The best things in life come from nothing, without them we are nothing. 
Naive. Thoughtless. Unloved. Inexperienced. Unfeeling. Robotic. Inhuman.
With them we have everything, we are grown up, high, on cloud 9, in heaven. 
Thanks in no small part to Julia for the inspiration, and Austin for the quantum confirmation.

A poem from Bua Geow

I’m sitting on the balcony of a restaurant in Chiang Khong, under a full moon, listening to Thai songs sang softly with acoustic guitar and harmonica. I look out across the ripling Mekhong river to Laos, and feel the cooling evening breeze. I feel at peace tonight, and truly appreciate this scene and setting.

It may have something to do with the monk and the drunk whose ride I paid for today when we were stranded. Maybe it has to do with the certainty that has been revealed regarding my future. Further still, I think it is due to my reading of Bua Grows diary, and thankfully, being reminded again to appreciate the little things in life.

A review will be published soon, but in the mean-time, here is a beautiful poem from the heart of a “bright-eyed innocent slip of a country girl… debased, enslaved”* and freed by her own courage.


Oh! The joy that you feel

Is to me as a tune

As a toy to a child

As a song to the moon.

Whilst the grief that you meet

Is to me as a pain

I would fain bear for you,

though I die of that grief.

So then live to the full,

While your youth is yet pure:

In the year of your death

You may pray and forgive.

But not now is the time

To sleep in the spring

Or to bow to the Gods

Or to kneel – but to sing.

But to sing to the sky

And to shout O’er the sea

And to bring to the world

The thrill that we feel to will and to be.

Author: Bua Geow


* In the word of John C Shaw, author and translator of “The diary of Bua Geow, Girl of Chiang Mai”

New beginnings and different endings

For as long as we have clouds, sunshine
We will have sunsets and sunrise
For as long as we have early morning risers and star gazers
We will have an appreciation of infinite possibilities.

For as long as we have the crimson, gold
and pink delicacy of a tropical sunset
The azure, green and gold where jungle, sun and sea meet
We will have an appreciation of chance creation

For as long as we have the misty blue haze of mountain silhouettes
and sparkling fire water
The piercing sparkle, razzle dazzle rays and invigorating warmth of an airborne sun
We will have an appreciation of new beginnings and different endings

For as long as we have an appreciation of sunsets and sunrises
We will have an appreciation of infinite possibilities

Enjoying the feel of things

I’m enjoying the feel of things at the moment. I’m not sure if its extra sensitiveness in my hands, or particular focus on the here and now. Maybe its the awareness of an impending departure. I’m not sure, I’m just enjoying the feel of things at the moment.

Enjoying the feel of things

The rough yet soft touch of freshly washed, low-thread count cotton sheets pulled tight every morning
The tiny, rapid percussion of air on my ear drums as the rain beats the roof
The goose-bump inducing caress of a fan propelled breeze over my belly

The contrast between the worn-out smoothness and the grain in the hewn boat boards on my bare feet
The unexpected splash of fine sea spray from the bow on my face and hands,
The heaviness of dew droplets clinging to my eyebrows and eyelashes, the sea trying to close my eyes

The soothing, swaying displacement of fluid in my ears and brain from the swing of the hammock
The inconsistent, gentle buffeting of the storm breeze, tugging at clothes as if demanding attention
The warm play of light through clouds and trees on insistent, relaxed, thankful, closed eyelids

The thick, creamyness of the air in my nostrils in the afternoon
The aroma of impending rain, the fresh bite of cleanliness shortly after and eventually the breathy sigh of the land as it accepts the water into its body

The smooth and deep feel of freshly washed, high-thread count cotton sheets pulled loose at night
The trusting heaviness of a head on my chest
The tickle of tussled hair in my nose

The Leavers Curse

The Air is thick with the smell of steam, rotten and pure, salty and fresh

It is stirred by the breath of the sea,  a whisper on the back of my knee
Lightning brightens the sky in clusters, rhythmic and pulsing
Heavenly fans and clouds of thunder play acoustic rythyms on the leaves
It is tranquil
The Mind is thick with thoughts of feelings, ripe and firm, toxins and chemicals
It is stirred by actions of late, a curse across my conscience
Neurons sparkle and die in torrents , fizzing and bubbling
Whisps of guilt and threads of doubt play their string harmonies on my Soul
It is confused
The Gizzard is thick with the intuition of navigation, impulsive and divine,  twisty and straight
It is stirred by the threat of indecision, a result of duplicate feelings
Pathways open and close in staccato succession, crackling, bidding and biding
Intrinsic knowledge and learned stereotypes play their synthesiser trash on my Mind
It is ready
The Soul is thick with words of paranoia, hesitant and bipolar, critical and constructive
It is stirred by thoughts of duplicate feelings, due to actions of late
Arguments jump from words, flapping, fitting and flying or dying
Memory and conscience hum to the harmonies of guilt and doubt, playing with Me
It is advertised.
The Water is thick with tidings of the storm, hot and cool, wet and frothy
It is stirred by the pull of the moon, a tormentor of hormones and lonely dogs
Monsters be hiding here and there, quilling, gilling and sometimes grilling
Waves from near and far play their percussion concerto on the sand
It is time
The Air, the Mind, the Gizzard, the Soul, the Water
It is tranquil, it is confused, it is ready, it is advertised, it is time
It is me. 

Just say Yes

Yes, yes, yesyesyes.
Its not that hard to improve the world
Just say ‘Yes’.
Don’t think too long
Or dilly dally your decision
When some-one asks,
Just say ‘Yes’.

Place some trust in your friends
When they ask,
Just say ‘Yes’.

Its not that hard to make a difference
Just say ‘Yes’
Don’t use sarcasm
or make a joke
When some-one asks,
Just say ‘Yes’.

Boost your colleagues self esteem,
When they ask,
Just say ‘Yes’.

Its really easy to get what you want
Just say ‘Yes’
Don’t be a doubter
Or a hater
When someone asks
Just say ‘Yes’

Mike life easier for yourself
When you ask
Just say ‘Yes’


The environment here is just damn strange
There are different currents going many different ways
At times I’m stuck in a whirlpool of human emotions, mine and others.

At once
Fighting strongly in the rough chop of intellectual challenge
Enjoying my work
And then
Tiring and drowning under waves of cultural misunderstanding
Despairing the work

Once again
Buoyed and lifted by an unexpected gust of inspiration
Applauding the development world
And then
Depressed and sucked under by carelessness and arrogance
Despising the development world

Once more
Whipped into ecstasy and elation whirling around and around
Meeting new people
And then
Spat into a backwater, still, quiet, deep, cold and devoid of anything remotely human.
All alone

A guiding light

In a world of shades and shadows
You were my beacon in the dark
Your sweet innocence draws a crowd
I’m but one, a moth to your halo.

You spread waves of light against the tide of darkness
It flickers and flutters
Rippling to the pulse of an uncertain beat
At risk of being gutted by rips of jealousy
It reverberates slowly

Through the rapids of affection and attention
where rocky hands tear at the crest
Over the the depths of deceit and debauchery
where the peak is lost but the swell remains
Onto the welcome shore of love
where the waves of light deposit bright new grains

This moth follows the beacon
Mindful of the darkness
Greedy for the life giving light
Contemptuous of the heat
Wary of the waters of sin

A spear of spray, a veiling mist of culture
Perilous liquid forms, forever changing, forever unsubstantiated
Weighting the wings, dragging this moth
To the depths of debauchery and deceit.

Where the nebulous lights of the discotheque twinkle and burn
The curious moth investigates each in turn
Failing to learn, each discretion
Stirs up a dark storm of excretion
And sets the white light a’churn.

The forces of darkness rejoice in the muck
They find their missing voice
The light becomes diffused, this moth confused.
Pain ensues and clears the skies
The beacon shines bright, visible again
And this moth heads for the light on weary wings

Dry, rejuvenated and refreshed
Rescued from the shades and shadows of here and now
By the halo, it passes beyond
Leaving the light, to shine bright
To noursih another, on this dangerous voyage

Though rapids of affection and attention
Over depths of deceit and debauchery
Guided by your waves of light
Onto the welcome shores of love.

Parents Post

Us Fullers are not know for our tender turn of phrase
Our honesty is mostly raw and pure, often overwhelming and rarely diplomatic.
We craft our terms and carefully choose our words for just a few special people,
Our family, the tax man, the rich man and opponents in any game of chance.
We travel wide and hold our heads with pride, so
Our independence is renowned in many towns.

My story started with Peter and Anne, I call myself a Fuller thanks to them
They are tough and uncompromising on the surface, soft and sentimental below.
My life has been guided by their caring and my spirit encouraged by their daring
They are always there when I need them and sometimes when I dont
My appreciation for all they have done is not as obvious as it should be,
They are my parents, I cannot thank or love them enough to repay the gift of life.

Its a verb!

Thanks to Stephen Covey whose following words kick started my thoughts

“Love is a verb. Love the feeling is a fruit of love the verb.”
To love is to serve, sacrafice, listen, understand, empathize, appreciate, affirm and recognise.
To feel loved is to have loved and to act with the feeling of love.

I acted to serve, blindly and without regard for the problems that I cause
Now, I have listened and understand your fear, anguish, conflict and concern
Ask me but once and I will sacrafice this feeling that I cherish most.
I will appreciate only from afar that attitude of yours, that is a beacon in the dark.
I will remove myself from your path and recognise your progress from the shadows,
I will not be there to affirm the love you give, for I will know then, it is not your love I feel within.

Ask me but once and I will gladly sacrafice this feeling that I cherish most.
For it will be my feeling and needs only what you ask, to be free
But I genuinely thank thee, for helping find it, within me.