Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Brothertiger - A House Of Many Ghosts

A friend just sent me this... lovin' it. x

The Dodos - Walking

just stumbled across this...

The Day....

As consistent to the past, I had hundreds of thoughts and observations I wanted to share to paint a picture of my where abouts, but now, after 18 hours of travel, I'm beat.
It's not leisurely travel, but the all too familiar visa run trip.
I wanted to share 2 new songs I'm working on.
Too bad, I can't record at the moment, but this trip has at least given me the time and space to write, think, drink and make lists.
And being creative without my usual travel supply of paints, paper, instruments and the necessary craft utensils (i.e. glue, scissors, etc...) I have turned to writing and thinking.
Tomorrow I'll explore Vientiane via cycle and then, hopefully, I will have enough to share.

Much Love- xxx

The Wires that Seperate Us

A cheezy song that deserves bells, an accordian and some trash can drumming...
written at 20:08 pm 31/05/11 (yesterday)

When you told me you weren't sleeping
I knew it was a lie
to get me out of feeling
bad 'cause it was barely 5
Now the world ain't turning
quite as fast as before
now it seems the distance
is made only out of wire
   i i i

I didn't think it would happen this way
3 years I've been gone
Although everything's changed
When I talk to you
it all seems the same
When you take the piss
it all feels the same

We talk about the States
and all there is to do
I told you I'd hop box cars
to spend the day with you
You inform me that the booze train
is actually for real
and I can't explain
the comfort that i feel now

One day we'll be drunk in a box on a train
and everything will go back to normal again
yeah everything yeah everything ... again.


I didn't think it would happen....

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ying and Yang, Light and Dark, Real and Make Believe....

Ying and Yang, Light and Dark, Real and Make Believe.... they are all part of one. A single harmony consisting of the balance of opposites.

[cue: Polar Opposites from Modest Mouse].... linked right below :) x

This has been a struggle, a question, a wonderance of mine for the past few months... How to be my real self in and all. The good and the bad. Someone recently told me that when you know someone, you really only know a fraction, no matter how well or how long you have know them. I feel for myself, that is truly the case for everyone who has met me, never the less those whom I have met.
I want to be honest about myself, but I'm a complete mess! And I'd like to further my career, so being a mess isn't so allowed... or so I thought.
This would probably be more appropriate as a journal entry, but it's weighing on my mind so much these days and ties directly with this blog, I feel posting is acceptable decision. The best, maybe not, but acceptable none the less.
I originally called this blog "Excess" 'cause once upon a time, an English friend of mine said if he were to sum me up in one word that word would be "excess". I love my pleasures. The natural, the man made, the sweet, the savory, the spinning, the highs, the mellows, the pills, the drinks, the music, the art, imagination, work, plans, humanity.... On the flip side, I started this blog to promote and make aware the projects I'm beginning to be involved with.
The 2 don't necessarily go together, is my point, I suppose. Or they do... but only fragments of each. According to this, there's the educator in me, who loves working with small children, the traveler who has no money yet continues to see natural wonders, the vulnerable girl who misses her friends and family like crazy, the vagabond who seems to move at the drop of a dime, but missing is the darker half.
Maybe it's better that way?
I just saw some lyrics somewhere where all in caps it said, "Im passing out high fives to all those who can keep their own secrets." I believe it was Los Campesinos.
Something about that quote truly resonated with me.
The largest developmental battle I've been facing as of late is this: When occurrences or people make you unhappy, do you express your unhappiness in a polite and civilized manner, or do you change a bit of yourself to accept such hurdles and practice unconditional understanding and acceptance of all that is around you, since you are the only thing you have even the slightest bit of control over...? Or better put, the slightest right to have nay control over.
I'm not sure what I'm getting at.. I suppose I just feel it's appropriate to let it be known that life's not perfect. Especially not mine. I will always do my best to supply only the brightest of occurrences in the hopes that no one worries, no one is brought down by my words; and if life is simply our perception, to create a perception where beauty out weighs the negativity we are surrounded with many a times, be it from our personal dramas to the media to any other source of informatory matter.

I think I'll stop here. Hoping to obtain some photo editing software soon enough and put what Im trying to say into an album, as images are much more pleasing and informative than any of my words will ever be.

Polar Opposites

In the Now, to be in the Past, once a beer is ordered

"She went to see a Mystic who made medicine from rain
And gave up her existence to feel everything, dream others' dreams
Bid farewell to her family with one ecstatic wave (Please take care I love you all)
Out the window as the car rolled away
She just vanished into a thick mist of change"

"Hot Knives"  Bright Eyes

First time I've heard this song. It's sunny out. I'm in Laos hanging by the Mekong, allowing time to go by at its own pace. Should be leaving for home tomorrow to have another move. Same city (thank goodness!) but out of the ex-pat condo with the pool and air conditioning to a nice wooden house in a lovely wooded area near a lake that is surrounded by low mountain peaks. I'm excited for the change, but I can't shake a feeling of nervousness. Me? In the woods? With insects and dirt galore? My mother is probably having a laugh considering I've spent my whole adult life avoiding anything but major cities and exciting night life and when I lived with her (9 years ago!!!!! crazy...) I would not so silently bawl at the sight of a moth.

As for the current: Laos is beautiful! A friend and I took the slow boat from the border of Laos to Luang Probang- 2 days on the Mekong with a group of sweet foreigners who we drank and smoked and laughed with for the first rainy week there after. We then headed up to the mountains to Non Kuai and chilled out on our balcony overlooking another river, and some more mountain peaks. After that, I followed a friends advice, blindly, and ended up at an eco resort where everything is made from sustainable and recycled resources and marijuana plants bloomed just as naturally as the orchids and hundreds of mushrooms. My first hour in, the owner took my hand and lead me to a natural pool of rainwater. We smoked, stripped and went for a lovely swim, bathing with soap and then rinsing off with bucket showers. I stayed there for almost a week, enjoying the lack of electricity and cares. I then, finally, headed into Vientiane (the capital) to pick up my Thai visa and wait.... Not too sure for what exactly, but as my existence has proven to me thus far, time does most of the work for you. Patience is truly the art of human existence I think. Patience, trust, and positive intentions... i think...for now.

To a nice sunny day and a realm of possibilities- kisses.

Laos photo album to come- xx

Saturday, March 12, 2011

To the Future! Sentimentality securely sealed away, bring on the dancin shoes- xxx

Chai Popsicles and Chang Beer to ease me into the land of few showers and plenty of fresh air...

A song to walk to. Away and towards. I'm heading to Laos to rejoin the world of bar soap being a multifunctional tool and where natural beauty should mute all the doubts this modern world and all its expectations can place upon ones head.
I chose this song cause I've been lost in remembering lately. All the good friends, all the unbelievable times, the unthinkable moments...
Yesterday was the last day of school and I celebrated by going to the lake with a group of girls and the lovely Rich and then making a Samsong filled watermelon that Rich ingeniously put into the freezer. The days are filled with such beauty its hard to imagine I have time for sorrow, but I do miss my friends greatly and those unforgettable moments... 

Moments Anew:

an album of the last 3 days...


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

the should's versus the do's

I Should be writing my report cards... I Am, typing this entry instead...
I feel there is SO much to say every moment, I can't keep up! Hahaha- I feel ridiculously blessed that this is the way things are, however, I wish there was a way to bottle it up, stop time, open the bottle, create, start time again and repeat the necessary steps to attain the worlds I want.

Yesterdays highlight was a video my friend posted on my FB wall that made me burst into quiet tears while at work. I left immideately after watching it, grabbed my spray cans from home, jumped back onto my bike and headed for this abandoned bar/warehouse I've been eyeing since I moved here. The space was incredible! 3 or 4 stories, an open roof top an old stage, beautiful grafiti art and windows galore!
I made him a quick DIY video to solidify the fact I was thinking of him and then decided to tag my Thai name in one spot on the roof. That name is Dok Mai which means Garden. While in China we dissected my name "Patricia Hagen" and found Patricia means Loyal and Hagen means Garden making my Chinese name  Zhōng Chéng Huā Yuán or for short Hua Hua. So in Thailand, I only found it natural to keep the tradition, plus my tattoos do most of the explaining for the reason of its choosing.
As for right now.... there's a lot going on at work. It's the last week and report cards are due, summer school needs planning, creating and implementing, my employers have a whole world on their plate, I have 3 new children this week and my assistant is leaving early to head back to Germany.
BUT, a good friend is in town easing my worries and keeping me sane. I wish I had more fun to post as there's SO much of it. But the sun's going down, and my boss and I are heading out for drinks... her name's Air, by the way. Air and Dan. Much more friends than empolyers...

Cheers- Chok Di! (cheers in thai) xxxx





Sunday, February 27, 2011

....more than words can say

So much time has passed... If I were to do a series of self portraits today, I couldn't imagine how different they would be from just last month.
I've moved to a new city, started a new job, am begining my involvement with a new project and have basically opened an unoficial guesthouse in my new apartment. Time has been filled with children, gardens, new friends, old friends, laughter, tears, cameras, guitars, mountains and motorbikes. It's been quite the month....
I'm not sure how much Ive enjoyed and how much Ive stressed, but Ive certainly learned quite a bit. There are countless posts I wrote in my head, promising myself that Id remember every filling of every moment, but they've somehow slipped into that gray oblivion that so much of ourselves endlessly exists in.
Basically, today feels more balanced than yesterday. I miss my friends very, very much. I wish I could exist in 100 places at once. The air is decorated with the results of forest fires galore... But, I'm watching a documentary on American Blues, eating a cinamon roll, drinking a lychee smoothie, after a morning of motorbike rides and thai food stalls before I get ready for an evening of guitar, lesson plans and a collection of European short films... so all in all not bad.
This is the start of regular posts.
Till tomorrow- xxx

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Self Portraits

Confusion Never Ceases to Complicate Simple Endeavors

Transition Time. Heading to Chiang Mai for an interview/observation at a newly established Montessori school. Am beyond excited about the possibilities and opportunities that will surely unfold as time goes on, but simultaneously frightened beyond reason.
I am aware of my strengths. I am also aware of my weakness'. I worry to return to the land of normality and be exiled for my lack of care towards the dirt in my fingernails or the coffee stain on my skirt. The permanent addition of flowers to my skin also make the journey, whilst more aesthetically pleasing, shaky for fear of being misunderstood. I'm good at what I do and my ideas, when combined with the right people, succeed and have the potential of becoming something larger, something visible, something tangible.
But, alarm clocks and dress codes and mood swings and deadlines... these are part of a world I want nothing to do with.
Many would say this is a juvenile approach to reality, I even said that. However, the more I toy with it, the more I realize, it's not at all. It's simply a healthy recognition. I know myself. And I'm the only person who has to live with myself. If I am going to remain happy and open to the world, I need my work to compliment my being and my being to compliment my work. This idea shouldn't be so foreign.
The position is for a toddler classroom, 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. The school just opened and they say they are in need of someone with a strong background in Montessori to help lay all the pieces in the right place. They also happen to be in touch with the Burmese Refugee Project whose aim is to build schools for Burmese refugee children. This is how I will hopefully be spending my evenings.
Aside from the job, the owner has been very generous and enthusiastic about my arrival. We've spoken about my conducting a teacher's training as well as being an unofficial mentor to the current instructor there. They've also offered to house me with family and help me obtain a visa by enrolling in Thai language school. If all this is to happen then all the pieces of my plan will have fallen into place.
It's a frightening time when all of a sudden ideas are forced into action. Even with Art I pause at these times. The actual recording, or executing a shoot, or simply showing my work to others. It's the same in my professional life. Giving the lessons, planning the parties, meeting with parents... Goodness.
I hope they like me.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sticks and Stones

I spoke to a guy from South Africa yesterday.. He asked me what I do and what I want to do. I told him my hypothetical plans and he looked at me and said, "That's just a hobby. That's not a viable way to make money. That's not a career. You do realize this right? There are so many dreamers out there. But you're smarter than that, right? That's your hobby."
I looked him directly in the eyes, smiled and excused myself from the room.
When I entered my bedroom, I just sat. I sat and I thought about his words and my words and they all just started to jumble together so I opted to have another beer. Not the best solution, but certainly the fastest and easiest.
To say that wanting to create an NGO that supports art and in turn the art supports the NGO, is anything but a hobby. Right? I always thought hobbies were things you do for yourself, when you're not at work, that you don't expect to make anything from. And, as for photography, who's to say that's not a profession? Are all the photographers, journalists, musicians, actors, directors, artists, dancers all just hobbyists?
Of course not!
Oi... I know I should take certain comments with a grain of rice, but it came at a time where I was already in a near panic. I sincerely don't understand people who use their words to create doubts and fears in others. Especially when your words can do exactly the opposite. They can carry, support, encourage, teach and calm. Why would anyone opt for the prior?