Monday, November 24, 2008

first love

The other day, while telling stories from my childhood, over breakfast with my love, I was reminded that my first love was a Maori hula dancer from Guam. She was a beautiful woman with long straight hair down to her bum and she danced in a lounge act that packaged all of the Pacific into an improbable evening to be enjoyed with colourful cocktails in a restaurant called The Paddock, on the rooftop of the Hilton Hotel in Kuala Lumpur circa 1974.

I went to The Paddock often with my father during this period, his date while he was in between girlfriends. I would wear my "going-out" clothes, which at this time was a red t-shirt and a yellow long skirt. I cannot remember the name of my hula dancer now, but the love was mutual. She too fell in love with me. I went to see the show a number of times (either my father was quite supportive of my love life or he was lusting after the nubile young dancers himself). It all culminated in a lunch date with said hula dancer. She sat next to me in my dad's car, an orchid in her hair. I was in awe of her skin, her scent and her beauty. She joked about packing me into her suitcase and taking me with her. Long after she had left, I wished it had been possible.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Paris, well, I just have way too much fun in Paris these days.

Monday, November 17, 2008

liquid state

Recently I realised that I could write from my heart but could only speak from my intellect. I attribute this to the fact that the two languages in which my intellectual life is expressed - English and French - are adopted, colonial languages.

In Body-Scan, Benoît and I speak, attempting to find a language that comes out of the liquid state, the energetic state of the body. Once Benoît gave me a note that my words were too "hard", too intellectual. I don't know if I have been able to surmount this.

I marvel at the ability in other people for sound and words to form out of the beating of the heart, the rushing of blood.

In close proximity with the beloved, I find myself often mute, the pressure of my heart pumping relieved simply by the efficient passing of information through skin, through the meeting of fluids, the opening of chakras.

No need for words.

I speak merely to remind myself that I can.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


On the plane descending into Zurich I encountered, in Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table, in the chapter on Phosphorous, a dismissal of Swiss precision as "a collection of witless impediments bordering on persecution mania"

Thomas Bernhard, the Austrian writer who found the Swiss even more loathsome than his fellow Austrians, said of both them, that they suffered from "sub-alpine cretinism".

As the plane landed, I remembered that when I was a young woman, I had had sex with one member of the Swiss modern pentathlon team while desiring yet another member (pun completely unintended).

Based on all this, I thought Zurich would be an unsatisfying experience filled with uptight, anal, navel-gazing inbred cretins.

Instead, in the midst of a performance from Compagnie l’Alakran, that, in its play on geeky sub-alpine cretinism that made me laugh from the bottom of my belly, I had an encounter with silence, stillness and beauty. I even wrote a poem on command.

Here is the poem:

Le poisson est
La cigarette,
mon désir
le temps
walks slowly

I also had memorable warm potato salad in a restaurant by the river.