Great Chinese proverb.

It's a little sad to face the day today, as gorgeous and sunny as it may be. Why? Because, for most of us here, this is the last day of any kind of significant break we'll get for the next 4-5 months, until winter vacation. Even those measly little holidays called Christmas and the New Year will fall on weekends this year, so we'll all be at the mercy of our discerning gyojangnims.

Le sigh, etc. What I really know, is that the next four months are actually going to fly by. And then I'm going to find myself staring straight into the face of a looming six month mark until I have to make a decision (and, more importantly, a practical plan) for what I'm going to do next. And I really don't want to. I'm getting old and set in my ways. And lazier by the year. Possibly, day.

But I can feel a cycle beginning to end, and something new is playing around the corners, already. Gotta make peace with whatever it was I came out here to find, before I've gone on and forgotten to find it.

Mags and I used to joke that Korea would be the Paris of our generation. IE, where we'd go to recover and get our finances technically in order, after we'd fucked our lives in the States in some ways. Or life had fucked us -- either way. Write and pay our bills for a while. Except it's nothing like Paris at all. And neither of us did much writing while we were here. But now Mags is pinned back up in a program out west, and I've spent the morning copy editing. I met this kid this week -- so fucking nonchalant about life, and things, like we all were at his age. Friday night I read this great thing he wrote -- just sat down and wrote, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, I would imagine -- and woke up yesterday to clear the deck of plans, when I found that something had finally broken through.

What I mean -- and I don't really want to say it, because it feels maudlin, which is what I've really been dealing with this whole time, self-conscious about taking myself seriously -- is that it's time to figure out what kind of priorities I'm going to have. On the first day I started my program, as a spirited and melodramatic 18 year old, our professor told us, "If you think you can do anything other than writing and be happy, then do it." Cheesy as fuck, right? But I've spent two years trying to sort that out. And I think I'm almost finally ready to answer that question. Even if I still don't technically know what the answer will be.

Drivel. Utter drivel. I hate myself. And I'm going to unplug the internet again and go back to editing now. As Smalltown is so fond of saying....

"Well you know what that great Chinese proverb says?"

"No. What does it say?"

"Eh, fuck it."


Anonymous said...

If there is one thing that is bound to ruin your week... it's attempting to define yourself... the end result of trying to inventory priorities...

Writing to me is a hobby that only pays in the technical sense... it's a token gesture to pacify the ego of the artist... unless you're a big shot, the hours versus the income in magazines has tough financial competition with McDs...

But you write for the love of it, right? A person needn't change the world with their work, or retire on it, as long as they affect someone and never retire their love of the immaterial.

Anyhow, in so fewer words, drunken blog response vote of confidence for you.

Joy of joys, happy birthday.

-- .38

I'm no Picasso said...

Well, and that's what this kid basically made me suddenly remember. That spending the day locked inside typing away is time well spent, even if all of it is utterly worthless, even to me. You don't have to restructure the earth with every word just to lay it down. You can just do whatever the fuck you want. I'd been sorely missing perspective, in that regard, for the past two, possibly almost three years. Which caused everything to get all bunched up and stuck.

To him, a manuscript was just no big deal. Just something he felt like doing. Fucking hell. I'd forgotten that.

I'm glad I'm finally at an age where I can look at younger people and learn something from them.

MikejGrey said...

This is seriously the most I've written in a year. Probably over a year. God. Thanks for the proofreading. I'm now off to read the boring stories two people handed in and comment on them. One of them has a worse time with comma splices than I do! Exciting.

cherry garcia said...

oh writing.

i think writing is for you, you think about it too much...

it's not for me, i only really think about it when im paying to do it...

and even then i'd rather be baking cupcakes in my make believe boutique.

but get on it. i miss the poems.

Korean-American said...

Spending the day locked inside is time well spent when coupled with listening to mind-bending awesome music and munching on snacks that make you love and hate everything at once.

I can't help you with the latter, but how about music?!


P.S. - Totally safe for work, unless your boys love video games and video game music because this clip will give them instant hard-ons.