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rambling thoughts; efforts to get back into writing; nothing profound tonight.

May 6, 2009

Running tonight, I was thinking on the way the seasons change and how easily I seem to be affected by the weather– not something I’m particularly happy about but I’ve noticed how long winters with little sunlight really do bring a limp in my step.

Recently the warm air and sunshine have been seeping deep into me and I’ve been finding myself a lot more comfortable in my skin, as though something awakened in me that has been hiding away these past 9 months in Korea. Or, perhaps it’s the time factor… growing friendships, the knowledge that I’ll have a trip home soon, or it could even simply be that I’ve finally satiated (for a time) my hunger for the arts after our pottery throwing lock-in. Whatever it may be, I am beginning to feel more comfortable with myself in this foreign land. (This is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed my time here because I have certainly loved being here and I’m glad that I will have longer to explore this land and people.)

Like running, writing is an exercise and when out of practice it shows. I’ve found myself writing less and less these days. Being an adult with a full time job and other responsibilities, I have forsaken my love of writing. I desperately want to get back in the habit of writing each week.

I suppose that it makes it harder being a worker, as my most creative times tend in the wee hours of the night and into dawn when the street lights fade with the rising sun.

Maybe it’s the silence. The feeling of being left alone to sort out my thoughts. The feeling of being intimately wrapped up in my Lord’s arms. The soft breeze that accompanies the settling dew. It’s a time when I can evade the world and draw nearer to the Lord in a more real way. Not the way I do in daily life. No, a real drawing near. No interruptions, save the passing yawns that make my eyes water so I cannot read what I am writing.

Spring in Korea never came and it seems that summer is hear already. I miss Texas springs. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of Korea’s weather. It’s either rainy and hot or way too cold for way too long with gray skies. It’s just depressing. So, days like today, I treasure! Though the sun was already setting when I left work, I went out to run by the river that stretches through this part of the city. It’s so beautiful down there. I like to run past the buildings ’til I get to a clearing where I can see the mountains which are now covered with lush greenery. I think that deep down I might be a tree hugger as I just can’t stand being in a place without trees and beautiful terrain. Maybe that’s why I love the mountains so much, especially the Rockies. Even in the winter the ferns are still green. However, I do have a friend that thinks the Rockies are rugged and ugly. I suppose the ruggedness is something I find attractive. Something about their ruggedness is alluring– it’s untouchable and foreboding, yet beckoning. I think God is kind of like that. Beautiful and yet frighteningly powerful. You are drawn in but know that you must respect Him. In the same way, you must respect the mountains or you might find yourself a victim to their uncontrollable power of being. It’s just how they are. …I still can’t think of a more beautiful place than Glacier National Park in Montana.

It’s ten tonight and I know that I should go to bed soon, but I don’t want to. I can’t seem to break my habit of staying up late. If I ever want time to myself then I have to stay up late– after school and meeting with people. I just had an orange and some tomatoes. I can’t get over how expensive fruits and veggies are in Korea. Back in Texas I would always buy so much fruit and vegetables. I’m not a vegetarian, but I love eating healthy. I’m a sucker for a medium-well steak, don’t get me wrong. Korean food is pretty healthy overall, minus the MSG that plagues almost all food you eat in restaurants. However, having the genes from my mother, I can’t take in as much rice as a Korean otherwise it just all likes to stay around if you know what I mean. I have to really watch my carb intake here in Korea. Back home I liked to eat the whole wheats and steer clear of empty carbs, but here it’s really hard to do that and quite frankly I haven’t seen any whole wheat bread (though I haven’t been to the Costco). Living with a nutrition major and other health conscious roommates, I learned how to eat more healthily but I think that I have lost some of that discipline being in the city and surrounded by new foods along with unhealhty comfort foods. It’s funny how being in a foreign country can cause simple things to some how become more complicated– like buying food. I now understand why the foreigners refused to eat food at the ‘Y’ in Estes Park. They’d rather starve themselves than eat all that processed food. Living overseas I can now understand as most other countries use fresh foods. I miss Latin America for that reason. I used to get freshly cut fruit on my way home from work in the DR. Wow, I miss Latin America. I hope that one day I’ll be back there for a more extended time and finish learning Spanish. That is a dream of mine.

I found some more stuff in the trash last night. On my way home I found a cool picture frame and a big picture of some movie I’ve never heard of: French Kiss. It’s got a sweet picture of Meg Ryan and some guy dancing. Anyway, I figured that I could put another picture in the frame or if I get tired of it I’ll just stick it back in the trash. There aren’t really thrift stores here in Korea which I terribly miss! Colorado and Michigan had the best thrift stores. I miss the $1 bag days in Estes. Never could I force more stuff into one bag than on dollar bag days. I remember when Nicole got a ski jacket and ski pants for one buck. What a deal! Can’t beat that with a stick as my dad would say. I don’t understand why some people won’t wear anything that’s not brand new. People give me a hard time when I get stuff from thrift stores or the trash, but hey, if it’s usable and in decent quality, why not? Helping the world out, recycling and saving a few bucks.

I’m looking at my Nikon d40 and thinking that I should probably just download the manual on line and figure out the cool functions of this camera. I mean, really, it’s way more advanced that I am.

I haven’t talked to my sister in so long and she’s had a baby already…I just can’t believe how fast we all grow up and how fast this life flies by. It’s funny how we all just go our own ways and live our own lives. I never would have dreamed that she’d be in England, married and with a baby while I’m away in Korea and my parents are back home. It’s just so crazy! We really have become quite a globalized people.

They came and vanished
Cherry Blossoms, sweet Spring snow
A tease, here and gone.

I could not believe how quickly the Cherry Blossoms came and then one day they were all dead or blown away. They were beautiful for about 2 weeks (if that)…. like a gentle snow in the Spring as the wind blew their petals through the air. Lovely.

You know, in Korea you build up a tolerance and endurance to ruthless stares. I mean, I have never in my life been stared at by more sets of eyes than in Korea. You’d think I was out of a zoo or something. At first I thought maybe it’s ‘cuz I clearly looked helpless and lost, but now that I generally know what I’m doing (unless it’s new terrain) I find that the stares continue. I’ve sort of gotten used to it. It’s more of how to respond that I don’t know… sometimes I ignore it, other times I smile just to make them feel awkward (since Koreans never smile to strangers unless they’re Korean-American) or I stare back at them with the same intensity of curiosity. It’s like we’re both different creatures or something. It really bothers me sometimes and other times I just let it go. I’m not sure why it bothers me so much other than maybe it’s ‘cuz I feel a little violated with these glaring eyes that follow me as I move. My friend, Alyssa, told me how once she saw a woman drop something so she kindly picked it up and handed it to the woman. Upon such a gesture, the woman seemed to have had an ‘aha’ moment and realized that Alyssa was human, too, with feelings. It really depends on who you run into in this place. I’ve had some very odd encounters and some really genuine crossings. I love the little market I go to by my house. The people are always really friendly and help me get the cheaper fruit. One man even gives me free samples sometimes to try and persuade me of the latest shipment.

Living in the city has definitely given me an appreciation for the countryside…even more so than I had before. I have always been a child of nature (not to be blasphemous of course, haha). I often feel as though the endless sky scrapers are going to suffocate me. Thankfully Korea is blanketed with mountains which weave in and out of the roads and buildings. I am hoping that I can find some other campers soon and go camping in June or in August when I return. If I didn’t feel a call to ministry then I’d most certainly be living somewhere in the mountains probably near a beach as well so maybe the West coast, though I could handle Colorado or some other beautiful place as well. Maybe one day my call will be somewhere like that! Being in Seoul has definitely allowed me to search out beauty with more vigor. I’m thankful for the flowers that are planted around the city and the backdrop of mountains mingling with the tall man-made structures.

I think that I realized a few nights ago that this city never sleeps. Never. People were out and about all night long and when we left at 5:30 am people were up all around the city. It’s not like in good ol‘ College Station where the roads are completely empty after 2am or so, especially into Bryan away from campus. I miss those nights of driving home on an empty highway with the occasional headlight beaming at you as it passes in the opposite direction.

I think that recently I’ve been understanding why my step-mom always talks about her college days and how much she loved that time. Now about a year and a half out of college, I realize how much I miss that life. Not the stress of testing and cramming but definitely the atmosphere and lifestyle of college… I walked on a few campuses here in Seoul and it was definitely a bittersweet feeling. I couldn’t help but be a little envious of the students, knowing that they still have so many great memories to make, so many great experiences and believe it or not, free time. The mingling of finding oneself and following the flow of life. There is so much growth to be done in those years– pivotal years that do really help to set the course of your life. I’m so glad for Jesus. he so wonderfully interrupted my life. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

I was just talking with a friend the other night about how I wished that I would have had enough guts to be an arts major. However, I never had enough courage to do something that I would have really loved because it didn’t’ seem practical enough. In the end, I am happy with teaching and know that it’s a calling on my life… and yet I can’t help but long to take some classes in photography, art, music, writing, pottery, etc. Maybe some cool history or English classes… sadly my major didn’t allow for any electives and I had to take 5 maths and 4 sciences…not my cup of tea! I also wanted to meddle in International Studies and maybe focus on the Middle East or Latin America. I suppose I can always go back to school one day… who knows. I do know that the Lord told me to get a teaching degree and that teaching would be my passport… and look who’s teaching overseas! ^.^ In the end, I am pleased with how the Lord has led my life. I can rest and trust Him with my future as well.

I’m listening to a song called, “Traveling Light” by Luke Brindley and I think of how I am always so torn between living freely and living captive– captive to responsibility and call. And yet, in Christ I am more free than ever, traveling light in a different sense. I still have urges to just go and travel. I’ve got the traveling bug in me and can’t deny it. I wanna get out of the city and see some more of Korea. I wish that I could some how just speak Korean. I know that God downloads languages to people, and I believe that if He wanted to, He could give me Korean. Norberto received English suddenly. That’s just so cool! Anyway, I’m glad that I’ll be in Korea longer than one year so that I can really establish myself here more and continue allowing God to work in my life and use me in whatever ways He desires. I’ve been praying about North Korea, but I have no real conclusion about that right now, so right now I’m pleased to know that Korea is a training ground for me and then God will show me the next step in time whether I stay longer or move on from here. Secretly, I want to go to Latin America (or maybe not so secretly).

I’ve also considered Cali — going out to Bill Johnson’s school in Redding. I’d love to go have some hard core training and by then I hope to have my loans paid off– debt free and ready to ‘go’.

I don’t ever know where to focus my attention sometimes… I want more time to play flute, to write, to soak up the Word, to brush up on teaching techniques, to spend time with friends, to visit family… it’s times like that I wish I were more choleric by nature. Roy was pointing out to me the the other day that our personality temperament is the laziest of them all because the melancholy-phlegmatic sways from being a perfectionist and not getting anything done to the lazy phlegmatic. With Jesus there is hope! That’s all I got to say!

“the edges are torn and the sky is hazy” so i press into prayer and keep asking God about my future. I’m excited because my life has been 100x more interesting since I’ve known the Lord and I know that He has great plans…

You know I wish that we could all just burn the disguises that we put on. I mean, especially since I’ve been in Korea I feel that way as everyone tries to blend in. No matter what I do I’ll stick out, which doesn’t bother me so much, but I am bothered a bit by the all-consuming need to be the same. I find that it really does feel oppressive at times. I suppose I’m glad that I’m not Korean in the sense that I automatically am excused from that expectation. Though, I do find that when I dress down, I feel a little less at ease. If I could wear linen and flip flops everyday I would. And in college, I did wear flip flops just about everyday– even through Texas winter sometimes, which isn’t much of a winter at all. I always wanted to live somewhere where the leaves change colors and the seasons shift… Korea seems to have a really short Fall and a nonexistent Spring. In that case, I’ll take Texas weather. You know, you don’t really know what you have until you leave or have it taken away from you. I never knew I was so proud to be a Texan until I started traveling. I remember returning from the DR and I never was happier to hear someone say in a Texan accent not to mention, “Welcome back to the United States of America.” and then to drive through the open roads of Texas, quiet and beckoning. No matter where God takes me, I know that Texas will always be dear to my heart. It is my homeland away from Heaven.

I finally buckled and just bought a pair of new running shoes. I waited four years even though “they” with a capital ‘T’ say that you should have two pairs and rotate, not using a pair of running shoes more than six months. Heh, I suppose I violated that rule big time. My friend Aimee came with me to Samsung Plaza which was recently renamed.. I was so shocked that I didn’t even remember the new name; of course, I’m no good for remembering names, anyhow. I did find a pair of glove-fit running shoes. They have pink on them and I was hesitant to wear them because I’m not a pink kinda girl. Aimee was like a sales person and kept showing me shoes and trying to persuade me of their worth. She somehow convinced me to branch out and just buy the shoes since they were good shoes, cheaper than others and hey, they didn’t scream, ‘girly‘ but instead, ‘I am woman, hear me roar.’ With that, sold. Not that I am a feminist (or I try not to be these days), but I also am not a girly-girl. I like to play in the mud, go camping, catch bugs, and play video games (but only old school like mario kart). so, I bought the shoes and they have been a good fit for me and yes, the pink has grown on me. I suppose that when I branched out to own some pink tops I should have known that eventually I’d have shoes with pink, too. Now, if you ask me to go as far as the Koreans and wear heals everyday, even unto hiking and the beach, forget it.

I love the smell of rain and as the warm weather has brought the showers of rain, I find myself remembering my first days in Korea. The smell, so familiar, as I came during the rainy season. The rivers of floating umbrellas that sail along the sidewalks and streets… the earthy smell as the dirt in the city is washed away… the clearing of pollution in the sky– leaving clear skies when the clouds pass… the hushed city beats on during the rain.

A bunch of us from church and a few new faces headed out to Hongik University the other night to have an all night affair with art and the pottery wheel. I found myself really loving it, the mud under my fingernails and the gritty feeling of clay between my fingers… it took me back to the days of gardening as a child and some in my college days. I miss having a backyard to dig in; the best I can do is keep some mint and rosemary in my classroom and an ivy at home. 🙂 The clay melded with my hands and I knew that this is something that I should have done years ago. I am envious of people who can make masterpieces, though I know that their skill has taken time to attain. I hope that I have another opportunity to stand in as the potter.

I will confess. I’ve been in Korea for 9 months and I haven’t sent any postcards home. I feel terrible for this so I think that I better send them soon so that they make it home before I do. I find myself not feeling like Korea is that foreign as it is so globalized and westernized. And yet, other times I know, without a doubt, that this land is absolutely foreign to me. Mostly that feeling comes when I am faced with some blatant cultural difference or unlikely happening except that I’m in Korea and that’s what happens here. I find some things so funny. I was passing the cross way today on my way back to work after getting coffee on my lunch break to be entertained by the sight of a bus driver getting out and smoking during the red light. I mean, I suppose it’s not that weird to me anymore but I remember that the first time I saw a bus driver leaned up against his bus in the center of the four way intersection six lanes wide, puffing on a cigarette and waiting out the red light, I couldn’t help but laugh and think, “What the heck is that driver doing?” That just wouldn’t pass in Texas. However, the road rules here are definitely not the worst I’ve seen. DR was probably 10x worse! and the Middle East…

O, I wanna have a night out barefoot on the grass, dancin‘ to some acoustic folk. Just sayin‘.

You know, I’ve talked a lot about things I miss and things that are hard in Korea, but I have to say that if I were leaving Korea for good in July, I would miss this place terribly. My friends, the food, public transportation, walking everywhere, and yes, even the city life–as much as I dog on it. This is a season and I am loving it. God has been good to me. Korea is a lonely place for a foreigner but God has given me some great people to connect with. That I am so thankful for. Truly. In some ways, I am falling in love with this land. I think that if you’re somewhere long enough you inevitably grow a fondness for the place. It intertwines with you and your memory so that you can no longer look at it from outside of that personal encounter. It’s like Houston. I hate that city, but it carries a dear song to me– a song that tells my heart of so many rhythms I once danced to hand in hand with the land in that all too humid and busy city. Seoul, the city that never sleeps, has definitely been singing a song to me– one I cannot quite sing with yet, but find myself moving to– it will be all too soon before I am singing the song of Seoul.

This is not a culture that embraces you. Rather, you must forcefully impose yourself or you will never grow to love this land, or so that is how I can explain my experience. I am used to the warm culture of Texas and Latin America. Or even the inviting cultures of the Muslims and Africa. The culture in Korea is definitely different from my previous cultural experiences. So, I reach out and force myself upon the culture. In doing so, I’ve found myself to grow into a fondness for the people and land. It’s taking some time, but it also took me three months of eating kimchi everyday before I actually liked it. Now, I can’t get enough. Or coffee for that matter…it took me two overseas trips to Latin America and living with Kara who couldn’t get by without having a cup of coffee each day before I could say that I liked coffee. An acquired taste. Now, I LOVE coffee and even like to drink it black. …Yes, to me, this culture is an acquired taste. It’s growing on me. And I’m finding myself quite at home in many ways.

I found the coolest coffee shop ever! Of course, it reminds me of Costa Rica. It would. It’s at Apujeoung exit 6 and is real quaint and cozy. There is real ivy hung up around the lil’ shop and a coffee bean factory machine (not sure of the name) with coffee beans spilling out over the top onto the floor. They import REAL coffee from Latin America and it’s freshly brewed right there. It’s amazing. I wish I lived closer; then again, if I did I might become addicted to coffee again. I’ve steered clear of that addiction. I drink it every now and then and get the shakes. I have to make sure that the caffeine works when I really need it so I make sure I don’t get addicted. Plus I hate the headaches that accompany the addiction and I don’t like being dependent on anything like that. While I lived in DR I had black coffee every morning…coming off that gave me a lot of headahces! oh do I miss the fresh coffee there!

I could really go for some humus right now. I think that’ll be my next project: making humus in Korea. Nothing better than homemade humus and pita bread! mmmboy! My mouth is watering already! I miss middle eastern food for sure! I love to visit Iteawon just for the food! There are a lot of Turks there and I can never get enough of Turkish food or the people!

I’m going to be returning home in July and I plan to get rid of most of my possessions save a few (well a lot) of pictures and videos and some little sentimental things. I think that I’ll take pictures of some things I can just get rid of that way I can remember. My friend, David, who is also really sentimental told me that he did that when he married Kara because she doesn’t like to keep anything as much as a spare piece of paper. Staying in Korea has been a good incentive to finally do the unthinkable: get rid of all my junk! And boy, do I have a lot! As Benji said, it is no “one-man operation.” So much for being resourceful and a pack rat. It’s only brought me more burden. I’m hoping to give away a lot of stuff and maybe sell a few pieces for some extra cash. I’m a little nervous since my time home will be so short but I know that this needs to be done. My dad used to say, “Denny, you’re room is going to fall through to the first floor.” I’d laugh, and then he’d say in a serious tone, “I’m not joking.” So, I’d laugh harder, partly out of embarrassment. I suppose that I get it from my mom and grandma. They’re both pack rats. I think that it’s partly being resourceful, partly a fear of not being provided for, and partly a comfort factor as I’ve always grown up with a lot of stuff around. Even as a kid, I always liked to collect things, even if I never used the stuff. I had all kinds of collections: rocks, trolls, fairy winkles, my little pet shop, disney movies, stuffed animals, stamps, coins, okay…so maybe I slightly had ocd as a child. But I’ve always liked to collect things and now I collect things and actually use them–not just for the sake of having a collection. As a child I just wanted to preserve everything. However, I have to have a spring cleaning to keep me in check and ditch whatever is not being used on a regular basis. I used to think that it saved me money to have so much stuff, and granted it does, but in the end it can become a burden–especially now that I’m traveling and don’t have a home base anymore. And more than a burden to me I hate having my stuff be a burden to others. I suppose I don’t know what to do with some of the stuff I’ve acquired over the years, such as the stuff I inherited after deaths in the family. With my mom gone and my dad remarried, there’s not really anywhere to store the stuff. I’ve become the protector of pictures and such. Ugh. I just wanna be free from stuff! As I’ve lived with some women that are less prone to being a pack rat, I’ve grown to appreciate the simplicity of having nothing. After living in Latin America I found the joy of simplicity as well. Yet, even in Korea I have somehow attained a lot of stuff, even though I have refused to go shopping. I guess that would be the result of trash surfing. Oh, well. I’m excited to rummage once more through my junk and pray that I have it in me to finally get rid of most my stuff–especially if it’s sentimental.

You know, I’ve gone through a lot of healing, but there are still days that something will trigger a brief moment of sadness. A song, a scent, a voice, a laugh, a memory will be jogged by something and I’ll think on what my life would be like if my mom were still alive today. You know, I really hate the work of satan and I think that I’ve really grown to hate how he destroys people, espeically in the case of depression.

After hearing Brother Michael’s testimony, I realized that I, too, have a powerful story, but it’s not as easy to just say it. With him, I used to be a drug dealer and then I had an encounter with God when an angel pulled me away from a drug deal and nothing has been the same since (or in short, that’s his story). I think with my story I have to ease into it a little. I still haven’t found a very tactful way in doing this at least without people wanting to console me or feeling bad for me. I think that sometimes I don’t share simply becuase I don’t want to face people’s reactions. You know, I’m not the only one who has lost a parent. Though, suicide is definitely an unnatural death, but with eternity written on our hearts, no death feels natural. It’s all the same in some sense.

Finding myself after my mom died took several years and really didn’t transpire until I met Jesus. He has gently been wooing this little girl to himself and speaking tenderly to her, wrapping his arms tightly around her as the tears finally surfaced after years of being hardened and nubmed to life. I step back and see how far God has taken me and where He has me and I can’t help but praise Him! There’s this one Jolie Holland/The Be Good Tanyas song that always makes me think on my mom. I actually can’t understand what she is saying but it’s the sound of the song and the footage of the movie, Fly Away Home. I find myself identifying with the feelings of that girl who lost her mom in the movie. I was that little girl. Or I think on Veta from My Girl. or Corina, Corina. All those movies… I find myself relating to in a very deep, and unspoken manner. Over the years the Lord has been healing me and drawing me out, calling me up into womanhood and into a place of walking as a daughter of the King. It’s been a beautiful dance with Him, the whole way, tears and joy mingling together, a tender and bittersweet (but more sweet than bitter) song. I think for me the thing I regret the most is not knowing my mom as an adult. I’ll always only know her through the eyes of a child. Knowing that she’ll never be around to see me grow up saddens me, but I know that the Lord is taking care of her now just as He is taking care of me. You know, speaking of her death is still surreal to me sometimes. And honestly, when people try to show compassion or feel bad for bringing it up I don’t know what to say. It has been almost 12 years and counting. The first six of those years I was shut off to emotion and tears. The latter six the Lord had me on the threshing floor. I find that the waves of grief that come are less intense and farther apart. I would lie to say that I never cry anymore, but I would also be lying if I said that I was not healed and doing well. The Lord is so good. He knows how to meet us in the darkest places and bind up the broken hearted. That song came on my itunes shuffle and led me to thinking about my mom… I like to hear that song and watch the clip from time to time just to remember how far the Lord has brought me.

Spring, or should I say pseudo-spring, has put a skip in my step. As I mentioned before, the weather has really been sinking into my bones and I feel it all throughout. I just wanna go sit in the sun. During my lunch break sometimes I find a bench and sit in the sun for no good reason other than to get my vitamin d and to enjoy the heat as it warms me and brands my skin pink. Back in March I remember feeling as if my humanness was being stripped as I became whiter and whiter. I was becoming ghostly, almost frightening to myself when I would see the undersides of my arms. On one particular day that the sun decided to show its face, I found a bench and I laid down at an angle so that the sun would grip my face. It was cold that day, so I curled up on the bench to keep warm, but I HAD to get some sun. Being in Korea I’ve felt a little like a vampire at times, hiding away in the warmth of my darkened room or the chains of the workplace. I’m so thankful that the days are longer. For a while the only sun I saw was in the morning on my walk to work because by the time I left it was dark. It’s so wonderful to have an hour of sunlight after work…even if it’s hidden behind buildings, at least it’s still there. That’s all that matters to me.

I’ve been reading up on North Korea and watching documentaries on youtube. Unbelievable. I think that one book I read tormented me a little. Eyes of the Tailless Animals. I can’t unravel all my thoughts and feelings about what I am learning and what is going on in that forsaken land. So, I pray. Trying to divulge everything that has been going on in my heart and mind regarding that land would be futile because everything is so fuzzy and mingled with the bitterness of the situation and my emotions as well as a deepening compassion for the people in that land.

I think of my complaints in life and they pale in comparison to what other people are enduring even as I type this out. It puts me to shame and I have to buckle down and repent of my unthankfulness. We have so much to be thankful for.

I am filled with thoughts and things to write, but none of which really need to ever be voiced or heard. After having several nights of little sleep, I need to call it a night check out. I’m not sure when I’ll have time again to spill leaky thoughts but hopefully I’ll take up the discipline and joy of writing once again. I’m afraid that some of my precious moments in Korea have not been jotted down and may not ever be recovered in my memory. Alas, I must begin the memoirs even if it is in a very scatterbrained fashion.

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