korea is especially strange this year. the taste in my mouth is of a strange distance, this rhythm. something about this place has changed, flickered, flipped, grown on its own; either that, or my old relentless anger against a country has fully faded away into a dull distance, and it's through this absence of attachment that I'm finding some something glowing here. it's like, there are lives here, I think, there are these people here, and their lives, and their self-contained worlds, and their drives, and the things that they do. like little engines, almost, self-contained, interested, going, running, and it's poignant, the way that each return back to korea encompasses another change on my part and korea's part. and every time I come back, there are taller buildings, different fashions, better technology, different tv talents, and something is always different.
and this time in the midst of this I find a stronger community, a space, a coagulation, making artwork and music and writing, going forth and making the things they wish to see. creating, living, stretching forth, working on projects. projects. these interested engines. and I can feel myself want to say something like: "keep on keeping on, please, it's a joy to see".
I think that if anything really important happened in 2011 it was that I found the thing that I think I should be seeking, and at least right now that thing is not a thing but a way of looking. looking for looking. positing.
isn't it funny how these things happen? very funny. isn't it funny? these small events, they're like cataclysmic, catastrophic; terrence malick's tree of life is a truthful solipsism; how solid these boundaries are; how everything is always lossy, everything always lost in translation, everything constituted of losing in translation, forever fated to misfire, mislead, miscommunicate.
but see: it's more like an optimism. listen: everything's constituted within the 'mis' of 'mis-communication', every form of life, both biological and social, constituted out of the mistranscriptions that occur. biological DNA's mistake in communication is the origin of genetic mutation and thus evolution; and maybe: social misconnection, miscommunication is inevitably variation, change, difference, and thus interaction, emotion, attachment, longing, yen.
this is a note to my future self who will take a plane and be back in NYC soon:
remember what it's like to walk in korea, to wander among these crowds, to be ajar, gently askew, to step into the cold cold cold air where your breath immediately wisps into clouds, to hear the familiar ding of PA announcements in the subway, and to understand again that consistent change, itself, is the familiar aspect of things, to pass the 포장마차 selling 떡볶이 and 순대, to be absent in the present, to look at things from afar, to take a bus seeing the sequential lights of 한강 slide by, to hold a moment and hear it move, to be this silent watcher, to be watching korea change, and know that distance, and that calm, and that resolve, and that presence, and remember what it was like to return, remember what it is like for every plane trip to terminate in the dance of public transportation, remember the thing you were always designing in your mind after you got back from your trains, and carry that within, because new york now inevitably seems all-encompassing and neutral, I know it does, because it's the texture of life you're already inhabiting, but if you can manage to tease out some kind of distance without New-York-izing new york, then you'll be more than okay, you'll have this airspace, this breathing room, this calm, this presence, the space of heart to have things change. so: go bike around at night a little. go run yourself into a breathlessness.
it's 2012, a new year. here's what I'll say, raising my glass: there will always be this struggle against the self; there will always be not enough sleep, I will always be too busy, I will always not get enough done, things will always be a little bit harder. there will always be the desire for the self, the overwhelming waves of emotion, the sensation of achievement, the dull absence of a home, the hard choices, the what-ifs. things will always busy.
and see, there's a joyousness in this all; what this all means is this:
there will never be a better time to do things, that no better time to try. try it, go for it, do it. the other day I leaned against a glass window in 인사동 on the third floor of a building and looked across a gorgeous terrain of rooftops and had a small epiphanic thought: but wait: how can I ever negotiate for my future self? I don't even know who he will be, or what he will want! I might as well go with what I am trying to know, which is what the present self desires, and I know that so clearly. or at least: 'I know clearly that I can't exactly explain what I'm looking for, but I know what it is'. and so here's to finding, looking, moving, here's to wanting, in 2012, here's to wanting what I desire, here's to being excited to want and really wanting, from myself, for myself, to myself.