Monday, June 08, 2009

Turning tides

I'm much better after Sarah got me some mysterious drug at the pharmacy, which after just one dose, has brought me back into equilibrium. I love my friends! I was able to sleep through the night, sleep in, bind a few more books, talk to Ben (who is already a pro at talking me down), and then rush out to a four-hour judging of the 2009 Seoul Souvenir Contest, sponsored by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, and administered by the Seoul Tourism Organization. It was much harder work than I had anticipated, but I met some great people, and learned a lot while sticking colored circles and stars under numbers.

At one point, Brenda stuck a yellow dot on my cardigan. After eating cookies the whole afternoon during the judging, I ran to Youngpoong Bookstore to buy the new Making Beautiful Book by Narae Kim (one of my contacts from way back in the first months of arriving in Korea last year). While checking out, the cashier said, "you have a sticker on you," and I said, "oh, I know." She was like, "oh, it's on purpose?" It reminded me of propriety here, and the lack of deviation from the norm. This is why Korea is a fantastic place to do public performances, and why it's a terrible place to do them. I tend always to want to stick out, and it was always easy back home b/c I already looked different. But here, I prefer to lay low. It's so much easier. And, maybe, I just needed a moment in my life where I can just blend into the crowd, every day.

I've been getting amazing support and encouragement from all over lately, which helps me feel better after this spat of freaking out about my future. Narae's book has a beautiful spread on me and my work, so that was lovely to see and hold. It's a satisfying big paperback, which I love (hardcovers are fine, but they're just so heavy. And not as easy to hug; no yielding). Kind of like this other gorgeous, full-color paperback that Clover sent me MONTHS ago: Peter Turchi's Maps of the Imagination. It is pure indulgence: the writing, the topics, the delicious literary and film references, and the IMAGES! To swoon for.

Last night, I had dinner and tea with Stephanie, which was also wonderful and therapeutic. She is SO smart, articulate, hilarious, and an amazing listener. I feel so lucky to have the community that I do here. Melissa recommended a meridian massage therapist to me, so I go tomorrow morning for a session! Hooray.

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