Saturday, October 07, 2006


A year ago today I arrived in Korea.

What a difference a year makes!

SO MUCH has happened in the past year. So, so very much. I can scarcely think of a thing about my life that is the same as it was a year ago. Everything I thought was happening a year ago has turned out differently than I predicted, and it's all so much for the better. A year ago today I was experiencing trepidation about living in Asia and I had never slept in a Buddhist temple and I didn't know how much I loathed kimchi and I hadn't read War and Peace and I could have counted on one hand the number of Canadians I knew and I didn't know the Commune existed and Speak Truth to Power? Hello?! Did I have any clue I'd be able to direct that over there??! I also had no idea if I would in fact enroll in law school in the fall of 2006, or put if off until 2007, or...? There were so many unknowns but they were exciting and I remember that that first week in Korea I felt pure, unadulterated joy as I at long last set out to teach English in Asia. I had reached my escape velocity from Borders, and I trusted the people in my life...I felt such unmitigated happiness that week. I was alive. It was astonishing.

Still more interesting to me is that there are people, a slew of people, who are an active presence in my days now, and a year ago I either didn't know them, or if I did know them I hadn't heard hide nor hair of them for years. This latest revolution around the sun has been revolutionary in my own personal world. Old friendships have been re-established, budding friendships have blossomed into amazing connections, new friends have been found. I have come to see the true nature of so many people in my life and the vast majority of these revelations have been wondrous. I know a lot of fabulous, nurturing people. New friends, yes, but also keeping the old. After all, one is silver... (everyone sings that, from Girl Scouts to Indigo Girls)

Today, in just the latest example of the magic of it all, I am heading into The City to have lunch with Lillian, my roommate from USC. Those of you from the "gold" category may remember her and that she was from Brooklyn. And now, Brooklyn is down the street. Ahhh, ten years ago. Lillian and I would rant together about crazy Los Angeles. We both loathed it, for different reasons, although I completely converted whereas she never let go of her belief that her hometown of New York is the superior city. I recall the announcement that year that the Grammy Awards ceremony was moving from L.A. to New York, and there was this jokingly competitive pride about it. I remember Giuliani (before he was a world leader) saying, "It's the difference between a city that's for real and a city that's on tape!" Oh, Lillian and I ate up that quote. It was phenomenal.

So today is Homecoming, here at Hofstra. We are playing Villanova. I am basically uninterested in campus homecoming festivities such as parade, football game, showing my "spirit" -- yeah, been there done that. But I am decidedly interested in the concept of Homecoming, and especially the timing of it. I like fall. I am fond of October. Usher in the harvest time, a season of change, a chance to reap what we've sown.

"You walk across the baseball green, the grass has turned to straw
A flock of birds tries to fly away from where you are
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye old friend, I can't make you stay
I can't spend another ten years wishing you would anyway
Now the sky turns to fire
Against the telephone wire
And even I'm getting tired
Of useless desires...
Walk down to the railroad track and ride a rusty train
With a million other faces I shoot through the city veins
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye old friend, you wanted to be free
And somewhere beyond the bitter end is where I want to be..."
---patty griffin, 'useless desires'

1 comment:

jnap said...

Autumn is, as you say, a season of renewal in so many senses. There is something magical about the changes that occur. It is a reminder that if the seasons do not wind down, the refreshing renewal of spring can never occur. There are many other philosohpical ways to express this.

For all the strained and pained events of the last year, there are as many if not more that provide with the sheer joy of being alive.