Thursday, November 23, 2006


“In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.” - Lewis Carroll

For every story I’ve worked on in Indonesia, there’s a moment when I feel like I’m plummeting down a rabbit hole.

“The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.” - Lewis Carroll

Whether I’m covering something by phone for a quick correspondent report, or getting on a plane to unknown worlds, I often feel that ground rush one feels when one’s ass is about to go over one's teakettle.

“Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next.” - Lewis Carroll

For the last couple of months, I’ve been working on one particularly elusive story.

“There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked; and when Alice had been all the way down one side and up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how she was ever to get out again.” - Lewis Carroll

Each dead end seems to give way at just the right moment. In time to tempt me with more doors. Doors which lead inevitably to a set of dead ends. If there weren’t so many little “eat me” cakes and “drink me” bottles along the way, I would probably have surrendered the story by now. But instead I find myself staring up at the underside of a glass table.

So that’s how it’s been for a couple of months. I’ve been working on other projects in the meantime, trying to outrun the white rabbit all the while. That’s at least part of why I’ve become quiet again.

Happy Thanksgiving!