Saturday, February 9, 2013

night pains

I started up – at midnight –
Gasping for my breath,
Keening like an animal,
Wailing at its death,

A piercing pain across my thighs,
A spread of hot white paste,
My flesh like unbaked flour
In the moonlight’s barren waste,

A drop of molten fire
Burning through my inmost core,
And spiraling – into the pit
Of spirit-ocean’s shore.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

vacation is almost over!

.......and I am sooo nervous about starting my second year of my Korean high school life.

Here I am, sitting at the table in a house ballooning with empty silence, and it's the first time I've really relaxed since vacation's started. The funny thing about Korean vacations is that its definition is quite different from American ones!!


  [vey-key-shuhn, vuh-]  Show IPA
a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel;recess or holiday: Schoolchildren are on vacation now.

Thanks a lot, Now let's take a look at the Korean version.


  [vey-key-shuhn, vuh-]  Show IPA
a period of extension of work, study, or other activity, usually used to prep like crazy for the coming year, take an AP or two, go to several cram academies, and sleep three hours a day until you start looking forward to school: Schoolchildren are on vacation now.

Sounds fun, no?

No, but to be honest, this winter vacation was a wonderful time for me. I'm just sad it's been over so soon :( I stayed at school over vacation to teach English at a camp, and the kids were just so cute, and I read all I wanted from the school library, and my friends and I had fun at the dorm, and I even managed to finish my long-procrastinated book of poetry and short stories...yay >_< it was, in retrospection, a time of rest and fresh hope and new beginnings. I had been struggling with a sense of aimless melancholy and unhappiness around the end of the second semester last year, but winter vacation offered a precious time for me to rethink my priorities and gather my crushed emotions together into happiness again. :) Oh, to think that I'll be in my second year in a few weeks! It makes a little thrill of old excitement dance in my veins, but mostly I'm just really scared and nervous until I want to start biting my lip to shreds. If only I could return to the naivete and boundless energy of my first year, my first beginning! How quickly time flies!

Enough worrying. I'm just thankful for being able to enjoy my winter vacation, and I hope, with all my heart, that I'll have the bravery and hope to begin my second year anew with the same fresh vitality with which I started around this time last year - the vitality I so nearly lost, but am determined to revive again, only a bit wiser this time with the experience of one very thought-provoking year. :)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Running in the Fall

It’s glorious—the joy of running—
Running—down the hill—
Fall in all her fiery splendor
Rings her scarlet peal—

The twisted leaves fall crisp and clean—
The apple’s cheek glows bright;
The conflagration of the sun
Is swept by birds in flight—

The world is spinning—colors burst
And dance before my sight;
I keep on running—running to
The sun—and from my fright—

Sunday, January 20, 2013

on reading The Bell Jar

I finished The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath yesterday; from the moment I opened the book I couldn’t put it down, and the haunting melody of the clear words, rich with imagery and eerie beauty, still floats in my head like rose petals in a glassful of jelly…

The novel shocked me more because the heroine (and indeed, as did the writer Sylvia Plath) had everything I had ever wished for in this world. Beauty. Grace. Love. Riches (for a while anyway). And her words were like music. They bit my heart in two and crawled through the spaces in my mind. There were so many thoughts she voiced that had been lying in my subconscious. I recognized so many shards of myself in her. She was bright, talented, and terribly clever. She won prizes and money and recognition for her writing. Yes, she knew how to write. Then why did she begin breaking down? Why did she become unable to read? Why did the whole world fall down for her, and her love flee like the sun at night, why did words become thick insects oozing across her paper, why did she get dragged to a mental hospital and why, oh, why did she finally try to kill herself?

The heroine’s name was Esther.

And it makes me even sadder to think that Sylvia Plath, whose genius I so fervently admire, who had everything I wanted in this life - scholarships and a great college and writing prizes and recognition and love and admiration and fame and a wonderful talent at writing jewels - could commit suicide when she was barely over thirty.

I wanted to cry when I read this book. It reminded me, painfully and forcefully, that even the greatest heights of my beloved English or writing can never ensure happiness. Worldly joys can last only so far. It is the poor in spirit who are blessed, I realize, for little though they have, they know how to be humble, and to search for true happiness. The happiness eternal, greater and more beautiful even than the most eloquent and lovely of words. The happiness that can save a person from suicide, and bring forth life from darkest death.

Monday, December 31, 2012

saying goodbye to 2012

Dear God,

Thank you for 2012. It was an incomparably colorful year for me, fraught with both great pain and pleasure; a year of joy, of tears, of epiphany, of disappointment, of embracing, of letting go, of sowing, and of abundant reaping…a year in which I began my quest to find myself, and realized the importance of finding you. I still haven’t found the answers yet – perhaps 2013 will reveal more hidden secrets in time. :)

Thank you for helping me survive an exciting and eventful year at my school,

for a darling mother whose unconditional love for me has been a wonderful support to me,

for a cool dad who’s willing to drive for two boring hours through snowstorms and bad roads to pick me up every week and listen to my endless rants on the way home,

for helping me find some of the first friends my age whom I can actually admire,

for two beautiful roommates who made my dormitory life sparkling with fun and comfort,

for smart, funny, resourceful, and kind classmates who made my school year really bright,

for the unbelievably kind 선배님들 who made me remember what a great school I attend once more,

and for you. For always being there. For giving me the gift of living through 2012, for teaching me so much, and for helping me every step of the way. Thank you once more. Because of all these people, and because of you, I am able to enter 2013 with joy and hope and life.

Love from your often erring, but ever adoring

Sunday, December 30, 2012

a tribute to my roommate

to my wonderful, beautiful 2nd semester roommate, :)

thank you so much for making my second semester brighter! your sweet patience, your kindness, your friendliness, your gentle honesty, and the tact and grace with which you always behaved towards me was most touching. being your roommate was one of the best things that happened to me, and you made 2nd semester - which wasn't one of the happiest times for me this year - much more bearable, and much more beautiful, with your lovely presence. I am so going to miss our looong conversations on random subjects, your lessons in classical music, and your most interesting replies to my weird questions like "do you think it's possible for boys and girls to be platonic friends?" and "do you think beauty has anything to do with personality?"

I just hope and pray my next roommate will be as great as you were! Love you to the moon and back,


 She let loose her hair, and it tumbled like a wildly flowing cascade in the wind. The knotted ponytail which had been so firmly twisted at the back of her head slipped, faltered, then fell free in a glorious disarray. The fresh sharp scent of minty leaves and hot sunlight mixed with her hair and caressed every strand with loving care. Standing in front of the mirror, trembling and pale as a sheet, she reached up with a pair of gleaming scissors and pulled her hair back with her fist – taut and quivering, a firmness and orderliness that must know how to give.

 Snip, snip.

 The scissors chewed their way through her hair in one clean bite, their teethy jaws clamping over her gleaming hair and wrenching away with unprecedented strength. Then, shorn like a lamb, she stood bare and unhappy in front of her glass reflection. Standing in the midst of quivering, glossy dead curls that lay in shreds at her feet. Whispering, Is that really me?

 If only she could cut her sorrows away as cleanly as she could cut her hair.

 But even if she could, she realized,

 They would always find a way to grow back.