An Envelope Slipped Under the Door

I’m still getting used to being in Gowanus on a daily basis. Everything is moving fast, and I get acquainted with what I need to know as soon as I need to know it.

I have no idea where to look for my mail, for example. This hasn’t been an issue, as VR has little-to-no postal traffic. But I do know what an envelope slipped under a door sounds like, and when I looked by the front door to find the cause of the sound, my first 11215 mail beckoned.

Within this was a second envelope.

Arn Chorn-Pond is a musician, human rights advocate, genocide survivor, founder of Cambodian Living Arts, and dear friend. He was my cultural ambassador and translator throughout the six weeks of countrywide production for “Masters”.

I have vague memories of Arn toting a camera around back then; I was completely focused on the job at hand, massive as it was.

This past Sunday, I was asked to tell the story of how I came to do what I do, and why. I didn’t want to derail the flow of the gathering with an extended monologue, so I gave the shortest rendition yet: three and a half years ago, I made a promise to help promote a new Cambodian iconography – one that centers on the nation’s culture. Everything I’ve done, everything I’ve built, and everything I’ve become has grown around this promise.

Photographs by Arn Chorn-Pond

It’s a long road; one that’s taught me to appreciate the journey. But there are signs along the way – rich, sweet, kind ones – and I am grateful.

24 April 2012, 10:58

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