Moments From The Last 24 Hours

I’m sitting on the bus, barely able to stifle the urge to sing the harmony part on the Stanley Brothers’ rendition of Over in the Gloryland, and realizing that the idea of going to heaven to play in an angel band is a beautiful one, and says a lot about what it’s like to be in a band with your good friends.

Waking up to yet another friendly SMS message on my phone, this one observing, correctly, that what I’m doing with my free time these days is really quite exciting and fun.

Standing in a darkened room, back to the window into the studio, sharpening my mind into a point that I drive into the music, to nail it exactly the next time I play that solo line; seeing with my outer eye the shadowy reflection of myself in the glass, playing the sax with headphones on, and observing it looks like any studio shot; and with my inner eye running a film of beautiful things and people I’ve seen in the last few months. And then Dae Gui says, “Ready?” and I say, “No, give me a few seconds,” and I take a deep breath with my eyes closed.

Sitting at my computer, finishing an email to an old friend and reflecting, as I think about the stuff I’m telling her about life in India, and life since I’ve gotten back to Jeonju, that I’m basically content and happy with things in my life. That my life is pretty good now.

Shrugging in front of my classroom as a group of students too advanced for my class whine about being sent to another teacher’s room. I grin at the funny pack of freshman girls in the front who mimic heartbroken faces at me and saying, “Naga! Naga!” (“Get outta here! Get out!”)

Explaining to a taxi driver that taxis are cheaper in India, yes, but that doesn’t mean I’d rather live there than here. Laughing at his explanation of why taxis are “so expensive” in Korea. Explaining that compared to Canada they’re quite inexpensive. He turns to me and says, with a funny look on his face, “Hangugeo jal haeyo! Kyolhon hessumnikka?” (You speak Korean well! Are you married?”)

Reading one page of a Philip K. Dick book (The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch) as I lie on my yo (sleeping mat) and being too tired to read on, but really enjoying that one page.

Eating a yakgwa and drinking coffee outside, while chatting with Myoung Jae. It’s freezing cold, but I don’t much mind as the heat from the coffee seeps into my fingers through the paper of the cup. Snow is falling, slow and heavy flakes that fill my field of vision and slowly build up on the boughs of the pine trees and the roofs of the cars parked in rows before us.

Pulling a chunk of fish off with my chopsticks. It’s laden with chillies and green onions and a mild thin sauce of some kind, and it tastes somewhat akin to heaven. Out of the corner of my good eye I can see the rest of the wonderful side dishes spread out around it like a landscape of little seizures from other domains of heaven. And the ajumas, I know in the back of my mind, are only too happy to bring more if I ask&#151though I almost never do, just knowing it’s there for the asking makes me feel good.

Getting about eighty percent of the poem I’m working on rewritten in the style I want it to be in; and, finding myself having solved some major stylistic poems, realizing I’m not the same person who was writing the original, and wondering which voice I should use… but not worrying too much about it, because the eighty percent is so right I’m sure the rest will work itself out. And then I realize I need to run to class.

Cutting my finger accidentally while putting some utensils back into the drawer, but catching it soon enough that the cut on my middle finger is not very deep.

Seeing the afternoon spread out before me, with nothing to do until 4pm; deciding to wander down to the nicer restaurants near the front of campus and eat something good, and read some more of that Philip K. Dick book, before I head back to the office and work on the syllabus for the writing class I begin teaching this afternoon. And that’s me right now, posting this blog entry and then getting up to leave my desk.

It’s good.

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