Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Ghosts of Korea

Sitting in Chicago and watching the news is wrenching. I can't even really describe all the feelings I have around this. Thirteen years Korea was home. There is so much I learned there. So much I learned incorrectly. So much I got right.

So much love.

So much laughter.

The quiet joys of sharing a home.

The quiet joys of adopting a dog.

The quiet joys of weekends spent driving through the mountains.

And then the bottom fell out and it seems like five years I was living in Korea, but more like I was chasing Korea. Trying not to let it get away from me.




Then a cafe in Itaweon overlooking Seoul.

Then a plane.

Then a new job.

Then dissolving for three more years.

The funny thing is I moved out of Korea, but it wasn't until three years later that I left Korea.

The relationships.

The entanglements.

The memories.

An ability I now have is to encapsulated the experiences of a dozen years in one bullet point on my resume.

Now, three years on, I feel free of Korea, and yet, it is hard for me to read the news, look at the news, see the news and not think of what North and South Korea from my very personal experiences of North and South Korea.

Watching JSA.

Hording Ramen.

The first nuclear test.

The first test launch of a missile over Japan.

Threats, and threats, and threats of a turning my home into a sea of fire.

The fishing boat.

The tunnels.

The death of Kim Jong Il.

Watching Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol while waiting to see if the bombs would drop.

Updating an evacuation plan once a year.

Kim Jong Un.

The murders.

The strikes.

There is so much that can happen in thirteen years. Lives made, relationships that are practically grown adults, grown over time, shaping, learning, maturing, changing, like the relationship itself. Moving together in some ways. Apart in others.

I moved close to Korea, I loved Korea, I had a passion for shin of the land built over time and acceptance. It was a place of many feelings.

The news is worrisome. Dictators moving and shaking and building up new powers and new joined forces and the implications of this terrify my. Looking back on the past in a place I loved, wondering if it is strong enough for what is coming.

Change is inevitable and Korea is about to become the fabled river of Heraclitus. The news upsets me because I don't know what is coming. It upsets me because it make clear how much as changed. Lends the realness to inability to ever traverse places that have ghosts to haunt me.

The new ghosts could be so much worse.

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