Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The City of Hope - Daegu

It has been an adventure just getting here to South Korea from Florida. I have to admit, when I first saw my itinerary I was overwhelmed with the prospect of having so much time in-flight. The respite I did get was the lay-over in Japan in the outskirts of Toyko. Bleary-eyed and aching just to be stretched out for a moment I tried to be excited, but it was difficult fighting the clear fatigue that had been raging within me. Such as my human form was, I dragged myself through security checkpoints and continued on for the final leg of my journey to Seoul. It is amazing how normal alerts stop when your body wants to shut off the reality around you. When we boarded our flight on time, I was just aching for my seat, to close my eyes on one more flight that would normally take about two hours. Instead, an hour passed, and we finally taxied out, only to be called back to the gate. Apparently there wasn't enough fuel...thank God for checklists....but I wasn't even worried. I fluttered my eyelids and begged for a nap. I have to say, under any other state I might have been agitated, but that is the control freak part of me that my fatigue had placed under submission.

I kind of just realized I just felt I was required to make this journey, a predestined destination to bring me closer to whatever the fates had in store for me. My journey was far from over after landing in Seoul, being met by my agent, whisked to a conveyance, then to a bus, since the last train out of Seoul had already departed....four more hours...another day had passed and I longed for the examination of my eyelids.

I think often it is strange what can seem like a lifetime ago, and what can seem as freshly imprinted as if it was a day ago. I like to think that we choose to forget those ordinary moments where we are captive audiences told how to put on our oxygen masks our seat cushions can be used as floatation devices...and yet we ignore these obligatory pacifications of our attendents. The reality is we would be screaming for our bloody lives if something tragic were to happen...the panic of realizing that our chips might be called at that moment...and in those moments we think about our unfinished business in our lives.

I asked the question of myself a few years ago about my own life. Not so much about being given a death sentence or the like, but the serious question about what I had not done with my life that I wished to do. I began to make an internal list. I didn't have to write it down, because I had been writing this list my entire life. I realized, gladly, that most of what I had wanted to do, or had said I would do I had indeed done. However, there were things still on my list I had not done and I knew that I had to act now or live with the regrets of never acting on my internal desires. That is a luxury few people have. I didn't realize how many people are unable to go after their dreams, most are riddled with assorted prisons and cages, keys, locks, and chains. Some are gladly held because their dreams had changed, mine, the constant search for my various quests.

This quest is quite different for me. This isn't so much about enlightenment, but how to be at peace with myself. The facing of internal demons, and yet the love I simply have for people is overwhelming. Most people hate people. They hate putting themselves out there. They think it is a waste of time, and they tire easily of the company of others. I equate this to being lazy. Though I am a loner for the most part, I am because I am an observer of life. It is strange because I am not a wallflower, engaging easily in conversation, but I see myself like a stream never really forming attachments. I am the comfortable stranger, often taking confessions, and realizing that these things I am told are just to release someone of a burden of the heart.

Often, after the unbearing of a soul, they move on to a deeper truth, and have left me with something to learn. They tell their truths to a strange woman and then keep their public display of lies for others. Perhaps because they act as if it was a kindness to not reveal their real self to others, or to even share to those that are close to them about their wounds.

But, here, in Daegu, I am not taking confession as I have throughout the world. I am in a city of hope where I have to search for the Lotus own enlightenment in a world right now distorted with fear and wars...I have come to a place of peace. I find it ironic and yet I plan to share much with you. These are my adventures of more to come. This isn't about changing the world....this is about living.

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