Thursday, April 23, 2009

Connect the dots

[My jiseung teacher, dyeing teacher - his wife in between.] Today was full, intense, sucked it all out of me. But gave back a lot, too. Yesterday, I had had a good jiseung lesson. I learn so much more than just that, b/c we spend about 7 hours together at a stretch. I had a breakthrough, which rocked. I've been having a hard time making my pieces nice and strong - they're tight but weak. My teacher had kept telling me that I needed to press really hard w/my left thumb, but I never knew HOW hard he meant until yesterday he finally pressed w/his thumb onto mine and it nearly fell off. OH. THAT hard!! Then it all came together! Amazing how such a simple act of twisting one cord over another can be so complex. Each time I learn a new facet of it - very much like yoga. How it takes like 13 years to really get down dog, and how complicated it is in its simplicity. I told my teacher, if you had just done that long ago, I would have understood. He said that's why it's hard teaching a woman: you have to be cautious w/how you touch female students.

Last night, I was up LATE sorting and packing my suitcase that Pauly had lent me (she calls it her "Coming to America" suitcase b/c it fits so much) so that I would be ready to jump out of bed and run out the door this morning to go and set up for my lecture. I of course got a rude cabbie who first insisted on criticizing my Korean b/c he had no idea where I needed to go, but then wanted me to teach him English! I got to the office early and spent about three hours there. It's not perfect, but this is a rough sketch of how it will look. Except tomorrow night the lovely sunlight won't be backlighting the hanji against the window.

I was climbing all over the room setting up. Thank goodness for Nikki and Vinnie, who were super helpful and fun at the same time so it wasn't as stressful as it could have been. It's nice to have all that stuff out of my tiny room, though. I got sick last night on almonds (random, I know. But clearly, after months of not having nuts in my diet, they don't work anymore) so I didn't sleep well, and felt like I was in a sea of hanji. But I had this dream where I was freaked out and Frank comforted me. I'll take that as a good sign, since he was the first junior researcher to lecture this year and did a fabulous job. After setting up, I ran errands and then rushed off to dyeing class.

It was a special session b/c my jiseung teacher told me he wanted to meet my dyeing teacher and dye some clothes so that he has something to wear to my lecture. They totally hit it off! It was so lovely to see them all having a good time and seeing the clothes come out beautifully. We all had lunch together, which included fresh wild greens that my dyeing teacher and his family had harvested from the mountains yesterday. It's really interesting to see men working in these crafts, and so rewarding to be able to bring people together. I know that all of my teachers are making sacrifices to have me as a student, and I feel sooo lucky that they spend so much energy teaching me.

After a quick rush back home, I went out to meet Melissa, which did WONDERS for me. I've lately been feeling incredibly insecure about being an artist in this world, in this society, and in these times. So it was necessary to have dinner and wine with another artist who gets it. It was also great to get time/head space away from my prep. I started to come up w/new ideas and got lots of inspiration from spending time with her. So today's cup ran over again. It's time for sleep before my last-minute prep tomorrow. 70 RSVPs and counting! I'm overwhelmed by the number and variety of people signed up to come to the forum: the beauty of a small country that has a disproportionately large capital city is that most people I have met are in or near Seoul, so they can all come. It's rare to get the chance to have so many people who have helped me in one way or another all show up in one place. For that, too, I am crazy thankful.

1 comment:

  1. It's going to be great tonight! I can't wait! :0)


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