A Place Called Little Thought – On a Goat Farm, Laos. 12th November 2010

The bow is drawn, the arrow flies, the arrow falls……………

Yawn, its close to dawn. The blue is getting brighter, trees are springing out of rolling mist. Sitting in silence by the river on pebbles.  Organic farm, in Laos, mulberries and goats. Pick up a dark star fruit and eat it. Pick up a tamarind pod and eat it. Handful of mulberry leaves become food. Wild mulberries, deep purple, eaten. Munching my way through the flora, on the way to the goat shed.  Stroke a friendly dog and walk on. Watch a bird balanced on a wire. All insects welcome to this show. Hear the gentle sound of rushing water, crossing the bridge, stream below. Take up a bamboo brush and clean the pens. Some goats like friendly dogs, some like angry dogs with horns. Make goats cheese and drink warm whey. Tasting of mature cheese and fur. Goats are milked into metal buckets. Kid goats fed soya milk from bottles of Beerlao with teets on the end. The goats bleat, hungry, wanting some grain and a few branches to munch on. Holes then dug, trees then planted.  Huge pink pig patted on the ear. Pao (goat man) wears a pink leather cowboy hat and a broad grin. Today 6 litres of milk. He is teaching me Laos. Outline of limestone cliffs, trees hanging and a winding river below.  Whirlpools and currents evident.  Fishes jump, escaping the watery world for that moment.  Gangs of boys carry spear guns and masks, catching small fish and playing in the mud.  I see a kingfisher hover above them. Riding a rusty bike, slowly, through the village to the school. The pace of life a gentle potter, a slow pace.  People huddle around light bulbs and small fires, cooking and watching soaps.  Where is that ‘normal’ life?  People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening.  Kids gather in the playground.  Strange dynamic of me standing at a blackboard, writing things with chalk and children writing these words into notebooks.  Children bring much laughter and joy, also drawings at the end of class, normally of nature, mountains and crabs.  Bright, enthusiastic.  No class on Friday, rice harvest.  What I thought was a bird, is a butterfly.  On its wings, large orange eyes.  Relax in a quiet place with a cold beer and a fire.  Under a tree where today a Belgian man slaughtered a goat.  Blood salad and entrails on a barbecue.  Local men gather around, wearing straw hats and broad grins.  Celebrating the death of the white goat.  A death, I saw today.  Only buttery pancakes for breakfast and mountain coffee, dragonflies around, jackfruit in the tree.  Then the music begins and it all changes.   Killing no mosquitos as they drink your blood.  At some time, sleeping.  Thinking small, living simply, with little thoughts.

………….the shooting star burns as the brightest star in the galaxy, then dies.

Aung San Suu Kyi *****FREE, FREE, FREE******** http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mjqo1JSDNpM&feature=related


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Mama Wolf said,


    What an incredible photo of a goat! What a smile!Was he the one you ate for lunch?! In fact all your new photo’s are really lovely – especially the leaves and of your bath.

    Glad to follow you on your odyssey. Hope you get the USB for Christmas.

    Love across the vast sky to you, my darling….. xxxx

    • 2

      leroywatson4 said,

      The unfortunate goat in question had one dodgy ear and was white. There were just too many males in the goat house. We gave him a good send off and put him all to very good use. If you’re going to eat meat, there must have a connection with animals dying. His meat was tough, I have to say the highlight were the balls! Respect thy flesh. Laura is bringing the USB to Thailand and I will watch like an open door. Salam and joyX

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