sakura season


There is nothing so startling or delightful as piles of pink on the curbs. Snow turns muddy quickly, so its beauty fades, but cherry blossom petals, as delicate as cut paper, as fragrant as the image of spring itself, lie in swirls and dusts of blush, gracing the road with ridiculous beauty. I say ridiculous because it is. Who else but children and romantics could dream up a road frosted with pink? It’s almost obscene, and I love it.

Others have written about it – when the season strikes you can’t help it – like a plague, cherry blossom fever strikes and everywhere are pictures and desserts and totes and lovers embracing the event.

But having never seen it in person, only as a visual motif for fluffy animes, I didn’t fully understand how dreamy it all is. Living where they bloom, for those two or three weeks, is a lesson in living happily, for who can turn a bend where those trees line the way and not feel uplifted?


Caution: Books ahead

One day you’re sitting on a deserted beach surrounded by beauty and crying because you have no idea where your place is in the world, and you realize that you don’t really have one. You make one for yourself around where you are. A space that is you-shaped but was not made for you. The world is given to you to find a place in yourself. No matter how much you travel you won’t find it because it’s not there. You have to make it.

I had this realization lately, and it was sad, and exhilarating. But mostly sad. I wanted to travel to find my place, and in my head I was going from here to there and everywhere looking for that environment and lifestyle that was cut out for me. As though I could find my perfect fit in some shop somewhere, and all I had to do was keep looking. And figuring out that I will never find it…well, at least it might save me the looking. But what a shame…

So I also realized why I love books so very much. I don’t like my story right now, and rather than create a new one with sweat and tears and hard work, I escape mindfully down into other stories – into places where I can be more excited and happy following a fake life than living my own… I don’t like my story, so I go to someone else’s.

I guess there’s another reason why novels were once considered sinful. They may make your own life unbearable.

A new warning on every great story – Caution: May make real life unlivable.


Cracked; I’m cracking

They witnessed her destruction,

Then were left to wonder why,

She saw nothing but darkness,

Though the stars shone in her eyes,

But maybe they’d forgotten,

When they failed to see the cracks,

That a star’s light shines the brightest,

When it’s starting to collapse.

Erin Hanson

being an adult in korea

Being an adult here means teaching even though you have the flu because there are no substitute teachers at your small private school and the other teachers are your friends so you can’t let them figure out the mess without you…

It means having to call your school to tell them your light in the bathroom is out because the landlord doesn’t speak English and you don’t want to bother with the hand signs and awkwardness…

It means not being entirely sure what kind of pads you’re buying, since those kinds of phrases aren’t in any decent phrasebook…

It means not ordering food over the phone because, although you could say your order perfectly fine in Korean, you couldn’t answer the other small questions about sides and would you like sauce? and will that be on a card or cash?…

It means late night or very early morning trash runs because even after eight months, you’re still not sure you sort the trash correctly and you don’t want to get yelled at…

And generally doing things you don’t like…like wearing pants…

on being sick

I am the type of person who, when sick, strives to look vaguely sick but in a way that shows I’m not trying very hard, but rather trying hard to bear up under a great burden. So, definitely suffering, but not definitely looking for sympathy. I have no idea if it works, but I can usually get people to know when I’m sick.

I mean, having the flu is actually being sick, and the dead voice and hacking cough and clogged nose pipes go a long way…

But I am the type that wants all this for the sympathy and the taking care of and the letting off early from work that goes with it…and then feels terribly guilty and also wishes people will just let me get on with business because nine times out of ten I am really capable of doing things.

I guess what I really want is for me to appear perfectly fine on the outside and be performing normally, but for everyone around me to notice that really I am not okay and to then force me lovingly to stop and go home. And if it were a big muscly man who would tell me with a pained look to please stop doing this to yourself and go rest, I’ll do everything, honey… I wouldn’t scoff at that. The problem is, people are people and not characters in a sappy fluff piece and aren’t watching other people that closely on account of them being too wrapped up in their own lives…

What do you call that type of person? A reluctant hypochondriac with vague romantic crazies? Kind of like a lazy perfectionist. Always in inner turmoil.

Better to call me a giant baby.

a book of poems

…that I do not own.

I wish I had found the following lines in a beautifully leather bound book of poems I keep by my bed and read every night, a little faded, the pages I love most creased.

Instead, I found it on Tumblr, where I get most of my culture. It seems to diminish the impact, somehow, but it shouldn’t. Just as words delivered from an unworthy vessel do not make them less true.

March is a month of storms and lust. Spring looks on, like a thought between two people,

  • Mahmoud Darwish (via theperfumemaker)

At any rate, the words are true, this week into the third month, the transition. Especially here, in Korea, where Spring is truly breaking slow and stealthily, in the wind that carries a smell of heat, in the red of my allergy-sensitive nose. It’s coming, and it has brought storms, and lust indeed. Lust for a single life, for the hot deserts, for adventure and escape, again.

You can keep your pedantic lusts and let me have my opposites. A lust for running away.