This was 16 years, 9 months, 23 days ago

As a rumination on what these past few days were like, a rumination of what Seoul is to me, what Korea is to me: what meaning it holds, the place it is, where it was.

Having done this oscillation as much as I have, spread thin over two areas like the ghosted-out-doubled prongs of a vibrating tuning fork, it still surprises me to realize that every return back is as... meaningful as ever, if anything. Meaningful is a good word, meaning-full, full of whatever there is that might be determined by endless ruminations on buses, walking invariably dynamic streets, underground subways seen with eyes growing more foreign then native...

I suppose I'll say a million things before I find the core of what I really want to exhale, but this is part of it: that people change, countries change, I've changed and no longer feel at home at a place I used to claim as mine. To articulate the sad and perhaps obliquely spectacular fact that homes slip out of designation, mentalities and identities slide from place to place -- and that whenever that happens, it should be worthwhile to mourn the passing and celebrate the new formation of a self, simultaneously, a cherishing-and-grieving-of-movement, without regret but with endless heaps and amounts of retrospection, globules-of-tears-like in their overflowing nature.

This is me, myself, with the knowledge that I have changed, Korea has changed, we're no longer fit for each other anymore, or rather, we're no longer with each anymore. But the result isn't a kind of warm-hearted eyes-looking-back-over-shoulder-turning-neck gesture saying 'oh, that was good, those days', a soft and fuzzy reminiscence cuddly in its passing -- it's not incidental-hearted but a deliberate and spontaneous laughter at time, for Time, an oh boy oh boy hyuk hyuk gosh gee look how we got here, look what got us here, are we all not, us all, moving, changing, hopelessly small against Uncle Change, usually unable to comprehend the degree with which we change, move, slide from time to time, grow and wither, and that all too sadly it's only when we come out of it, leave the state we were, that only when time solidifies after separation and shows itself post facto can we realize how blind we were to this changing, passing, and how we will be so unfailingly...

Here I am in a plane leaving Korea, nearing San Francisco, gentle turbulence tosses tousling my hair, looking out the window and seeing a far-off sunrise with the irregular, irrational, and altogether organic traces of cloud mass, a floating rocky skyline. A sunrise to the east traveling west, this jet shooting east, and a set of gradients growing in intensity, color breadth, dynamic range. As we start to converge I realize that I'm sweeping across dates, times, collecting in these outstretched wings a series of countless numbers piling up, ghostly images of LED numbers and analog arms layered like fish scales, gold coins, dry crumbs on a table, small leaves in the fall.

01/01/2007, 11 am Seoul time, 6am San Francisco time, 9am New York time.