For better or worse, I'm making a home in Korea. I've a new apartment that I will move into in a short two weeks. It is a commitment. I signed a contract. Somehow it feels different than signing the work contract. It is a home. I'm not just swinging by for a year. No, I'm staying... for now. The list in my head begins - furniture, curtains, cutlery, rug, stereo speakers, cat, tapestries, colors, textures, shapes. Turning a bright white apartment into a den of calm for me to exhale in, a place to write my words and stories, a place to build friendships, and dare I hope - love? It is a place to lay down my fears and pick up my comforts. An oasis in a land that often irritates and offends me. I smile and think of how I often irritate and offend. I try to be like water and just flow, but I am more like the waves that crash, banging into others wherever I go. Ah well. Be water... whatever water you are.
It was the closets that convinced me. Three large, meter wide closets in an apartment built with none. The owner had added. A nook, a suggestion of a seperation in the wide open space created comfort to me. I always liked nooks. They seem like little cubby holes to hide velvet covered secrets in. They smell of vanilla and chai and fresh cut grass and peace. No bed for me, just a fold up couch, an overstuffed chair, a table for a desk. I want, oh how I want to just create a space that reflects me. And that is it.
Am I odd to love sleeping on couches? Does it matter? The grey, scratchy one in my grandparents' home was my napping spot. I awakened one day, my hair plastered to my head, drunk on possibility when I heard my grandmother say, "Don't wake that child. She needs to sleep." And my grandfather's response, "I'm going fishing. She likes going fishing." And I did. I loved fishing with him. A quiet man of few words, my grandfather believed in me with all his heart. He was a complicated man but a good one. We went fishing and just sat together. There weren't words, and then (and now) the ability to fish alluded / alludes me. I haven't the first clue how to fish. I think he just wanted to be with me... quietly. It was probably the only time I was quiet when... no, I was a quiet child. I have made up for it over time. Now you just can't shut me up. But I digress.
In all the times we went fishing, I caught one fish. By chance. There was no bait on the hook, it just happened to catch on a fish. A bass, one pound. I picked it up, and it slipped through my fingers. Back to the water and its life it swam.
Perhaps I am like that fish and the little apartment on the 18th floor of a tall tall building just outside Seoul Korea is my own little pond. Maybe I'm a wave crashing about with this little hidden underwater cave. Does it matter?
Creating my own waterfall...