강화도 setting sun (Taken with Instagram)
What must I do to tame you? asked the little prince.
You must be very patient, replied the fox. First you will sit down at a distance from me-like that-in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day…
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
A number of years ago (I think back in 2007), I was gifted a copy of The Little Prince by one of my dearest and closest friends. At the time, I felt I was too busy, or not interested enough in the small, unassuming text. It would not be until years later I would finally read such a book that would profoundly change my life and challenge some of my basic conceptions of human emotion.
To be honest, I don’t know if that last sentence made any sense. It just sounded good at the time. Aside from my failed attempt at being witty with words, I want to take a moment to just… write. My resolution of a few months ago to write more often has fallen by the wayside. Yet in its stead another kind of adventure has begun for me.
Over a year ago, I saw a flower. Out of the whole garden, this flower radiated a bit more brightly to me than any others. Thus was the beginning. Nearly a year and a half later, that flower has revealed itself to be a beautiful rose. The time spent waiting and being patient has only helped us and brought us to the present moment. A moment outside of time… Eternity. It’s the time you have wasted on your rose that makes your rose so important. Time well wasted.
‘You must be very patient,’ replied the fox. ‘First you will sit down at a little distance from me-like that-in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day… Maybe it went something like that. Maybe it’s going just like that.
As the secondsminuteshoursdaysweeksmonths pass, we come to discover more about each other. We come to tame one another. As I look to the future, I come to hope. I come to hope that one day (and all the rest to come) I can say this:
But my rose, all on her own, is more important than all of you together, since she’s the one I’ve watered. Since she’s the one I put under glass, since she’s the one I sheltered behind the screen. Since she’s the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except the two or three butterflies). Since she’s the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all. Since she’s my rose.
I’ve read a few books by Paulo Coelho these recent years, and always found some gems of inspiration, wisdom, or encouragement. Sometimes even just the expression of a feeling in words I could never string together in quite the same way. Here’s a few from The Alchemist
…in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.
It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting…
…whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.
It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing.
You have told me about your dreams, about the old king and your treasure. And you’ve told me about omens. So now, I fear nothing, because it was those omens that brought you to me. And I am a part of your dream, a part of your Personal Legend, as you call it.
One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.
“A miracle is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A miracle is when one plus one equals a thousand.” ~Frederick Buechner
Playing violin with my best friend
Playing/listening to acoustic guitar
Listening to classical guitar
Looking at stars
Enjoying a quiet moment
Writing whatever comes to mind
Exploring new places
Staying up late
Drinking/making homemade chai tea lattes
Drinking Dutch Bros Iced Kahlua Kickers
Drinking Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiatos
Being with friends
As I sit in Starbucks playing Bejeweled Blitz, I realize that I hardly notice any of the multitude of conversations going on around me. Perhaps because they are all taking place in Korean…
However one of my goals for year three is to be much more proactive about learning Korean. I’m going to start a new approach that piqués my interest a bit more than just book/grammar work, so we’ll see how that goes! My teacher said they are going to be more strict on me, as well. Hee.
Also of random note is that there’s a couple songs I’d like to learn on guitar- one such being “Anyone Else” from the Juno soundtrack.
While I was home on vacation, I decided to take a little more time to write. Whether I accomplish this by using one of my many (partially filled) journals, or online is yet to be seen…
I’ve been back in Korea for a little over 24 hours now and find that—like at home— some things change and some remain the same. Seems to be a constant in life: “The only thing you can count on is change.” Speaking of which, I have ₩400 in my pocket from Starbucks in 영통 that I meant to leave at my apt. I guess today l’m carrying some change of my own around!
I’m currently at Starbucks near 광화문, waiting to meet up for dinner and some adventuring. Some things change, some things stay the same! I wore white today, hoping to fend off the heat, but unfortunate the humidity seeps in anyway. Haha.
When I get back to my apartment, I plan on :
*uploading pictures from vacation
*putting away the rest of my stuff that I scattered around my apt
*doing a smidge of shopping so as to have some semblance of food at home
*putting together a new playlist for my iTunes
Now, just how much of that will actually get accomplished is dicey. I have a tendency to get distracted… Stay tuned for more updates!
Yesterday I made the trip down to Ashland. It was partly just for fun, and to enjoy a kind of “last day” of driving around in my car, Flip-Flap and all. Also to pick up some “last-minute” things I’d been thinking about for awhile, but hadn’t quite gotten yet. The weather was great, the roads not too busy, and I was pretty stoked about the whole thing. It doesn’t take much to make me happy :)
The trip ended up taking quite a bit longer than I had originally planned, but mostly because I was just enjoying myself. I hit the freeway around 11:30am, and arrived around 12:15. As is my habit, my left arm was hanging out the window the whole way there, as I blasted out whatever random songs were in my “driving” playlist (we’ll revisit the left arm later). For the first time ever, I had to park my car waaaaaay at the end of the parking lot at Lithia Park. At the time I got one of only four spaces left. Lucky me?? After wandering the park a bit, I made my way through about a dozen+ shops- mostly antique/import places with some kinds of other vintage-y, peculiar, interesting, curious things thrown in as well.
At one particular shop called “Horsefeathers”, one of the workers gave me a demonstration of a Chinese-based instrument utilizing a metal basin and water. It was meant as an aid for meditation/relaxation techniques, but I just found it fascinating. You wet your hands, then rubbed the handles of the basin, and let the vibrations… vibrate the water, creating sound and energy waves. Simple, but a bit hypnotizing.
I hadn’t intended to spend so much time in Ashland, but I kept finding little places that had wizard stuff in them, and I just kept looking! Originally I thought I would get what I needed/wanted and then hightail it on back home so I could do some other things that afternoon. Instead, many shops later I had found something close to what I wanted. I guess I can’t win them all…
By the way, I figure it’s probably only in Ashland that I’ve experienced being hit in the head by a butterfly. I had just finished crossing a street, and caught a glimpse of a butterfly nearby. I thought it was neat, and continued walking… only to get smacked in the forehead by the same winged creature. Oh, Ashland…
Feeling the need for a little pick-me-up, I grabbed a coffee from a local roaster, then found my car (still at the faaaar end of the lot). Did I just hop on the freeway, and head home? No. Fond memories tugged at my heartstrings, directing me to the back-roads and highways I used to drive in high school. Unfortunately I missed driving down by the river (I missed the turn-off), but did stop at the mart in Gold Hill for a raspberry ale. Arm hanging out the window again, I finally made it back to Grants Pass around 4:30pm. It was a nice trip, and gave me a chance to mull some things over in my head. Hooroar!
Remember that left arm I was talking about? Yeah, it’s quite red now. Just because you don’tfeelthe sun burning into your skin doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening. This is evidenced by the nice watch tan-line on my left wrist. There’s a nice patch of white (I have quite pale skin, for a Korean, apparently…) surrounded by a lot of brown-red color which runs the length of my arm, stopping about 5 inches from my shoulder. It’s kind of intense.
Other things happened after that, but perhaps that’s a story for another time.
Now I sit on my computer, at Gram’s- the last day before returning to Korea. In many ways, three weeks has been enough time at “home” for me to recharge, spend time with family and familiarities. On the other hand, it’s never quite long enough. However, I am anxious to go back. There is work to be done, people to see, adventures to be had, and words to be said. Not to mention a girlfriend to be reclaimed!