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March 29, 2007

spring

the double edged sword of spring plunges. the cherry branches blossum into rare colour beneath a sky thickened by millions of gobi desert dust particles. at 2:40pm yesterday my students said, "teacher, dinner", "teacher, it's evening", "teacher, i'm scared". i looked out the window and i could barely see the buildings across the street it was so dark. it used to be that the sun would come out to play and you'd play with it, delighting in a change that was so attractive you'd forget it was cyclical. you'd forget what you had. september and march. upside and down. will you survive?

March 24, 2007

a year

fuck. it's been 12 months since i left home.

10.5 months on south korean shores
5.5 months living in busan, 5 months living in seoul.
10.5 months with the same girlfriend.
3.5 months co-habiting with girlfriend
10,340 photographs taken
2,914 photographs kept
9 months teaching english to children
0.5 months posing as an artist

in as far as teaching english can be consdered a 'real job', these are all personal records.
but of course, these numbers are just divining forks, leading me to the real gold, the subjectivity of change.

people do occasionally ask me 'why did you decide to come to korea?'. usually they are korean. usually they are puzzled. and as always there are short answers and long answers, shallow explanations and deeper analyses. the cross purposes response may be just to say, 'i was unhappy where i was. i wanted (no, needed) a change'. retrospectively, i can say the change worked, months ago in fact. i wanted to be happier, i got happier. i stepped out of the rut i was truly deeply entrenched in. but i wanted other things too, and to a certian degree i have obtained them. i wanted to explore and develop my creative interests. to chase the tail of my inner voice whispering 'life is about something else, something you're not doing', even if it meant going in circles. photography is the tool i chose and i know i have improved, ten thousand photos (thank fuck for digital) later. i've been experimenting and finding a style. i've even had an exhibition, an ultimately flimsy excuse to call myself an artist. laughable only because i am nagged by one thing - a sense of agency. i long to feel like i have an idea of what will look good or be interesting rather than just doing something and waiting to hear what other people say. i guess everyone's creative process is different but i have rarely been happy with mine. the exception might be the first few months in korea, when i was struggling and searching for the things i have now. when i was living in an apartment as naked as a hospital bed, surrounded by people i didn't like all that much. what is it about the apparent mutual exclusivity of creativity and stability? i guess that's why there are so few good pop songs.

freebies this year have included finding a woman whom i love and continue to love and continue to continue to grow in love for. this feels like a remarkable thing... but i'm hesistant to think too much about it. i think i might have gone wrong there before. of course any one who knows me knows this isn't really a freebie. human relationships are my passion. and as mr molina once said, 'there is love and work and lover's work.' i also found a job i dont mind doing all that much. teaching is important. children are good people to be around. but unfortunately i couldn't care less about the english language. but of course this isn't really a freebie either. i generally resent the fact that i'm tired every day and that i need to earn money at all. but that one's not going to go away soon.

these days i dream about blue oceans and green grasses. maybe it's just the end of winter but i think its more that im kind of coming full circle. i'm settled again, except with fewer friends. i'll be here till december i guess.