Well, here I am, leaving Korea. Again. Linda Without Borders is going to once more wend her way across the Pacific Ocean to the U.S. and an unknown future. And while it is so different from the last time, it somehow manages to be very much the same in some ways. Life is sneaky like that.
One way it was very much the same and also oh so very different was last night when I once again had my final commune trip. My favorite bar in the world is still the lovely Commune's lonely hearts club in Junangno, Daegu, and one of my greatest thrills in 2011 was returning to that place, my old haunt of haunts, the locale of so much of what I experienced when I lived in Daegu 2005-06. I never thought I would go back there (or to Daegu at all) and being able to revisit it multiple times while we lived in Andong brought me pure joy. I know that a lot of people don't understand; they think, "What? It's just a bar, and a smoky one at that. How great could it be?" But that's OK; they can stay upstairs on the harsh neon streets and I will experience the truest souls I've yet found on the planet in the beautiful basement darkness below.
Only - I won't. Not for a while, anyway. Because now Brian and I are headed out of the country, so last night was our final night in Daegu, and our last stop had to be our last Commune trip for at least a little while, if not a long while. It was so interesting to be there though, because this time I know that you can never say never. This weekend I sat where I sat almost six years ago, and I conversed with the two special people I conversed with six years ago, and took shots with them like we did six years ago...and I was filled with a quite beautiful melancholy. I know it will be a long time before I can go back there, but I was still marveling at the fact that over the past year I was able to go back there at all. When I left in 2006 there were tears and there was anger and there were so many things I didn't understand about what I was leaving behind. I like to think I have a deeper understanding now, but I suspect there are still many things I need to figure out, too many to count.
I kind of miss my solitary journeys and the moments I used to spend in deep, pensive solitude. I thought about that this weekend, and I think that part of the Commune magic, for me, is that it lets me glimpse and remember that part of myself.
There's more, of course, but not all of it can be blogged at this time in this space.