I leave for Youngstown on November 9th. I still have to get my ticket. I'm a bit nervous. I have yet to be away from Sogee for so long. I hope she'll be okay. Two months is a good long while. She says she might visit Korea in December. I'm sure she'll find her visit back home surprising. When I visited America after being in Korea, it didn't even seem like America. It was more like a fuzzy dream that never got into focus. It's only now that I've been back in the states for eight months that I feel like I have a sense of what it is be an American again. At the same time, there is still a sense that I am outside of America as well. That I could once again be off in Korea, but I don't know if that will ever happen. There are many opportunities for me here, and I just don't see myself going back to Seoul to teach. I don't know if this is reality, but I feel like something else is calling me here. Yes, partially that's making movies, television shows, and novels. And yet, there are the other things -- the food, winters, feeling like an outcast in a different way, family, and freedom. This last element is probably the most profound. No matter what I could ever do in Korea, I would still be a non-Korean. Whereas in America, I have a chance to still be judged or discriminated against, but I still have the potential to be who and what I am without a true "second class" nature as it stands in Korea. I don't know. I say all this and maybe it makes no sense at all. You could be reading this and thinking he gets to make movies. Life is grand. Yeah, it's pretty good. That's not the issue. It's just difficult when you have a married couple from two different countries. One lives in one place for a bit, and then there's the switch to the other's homeland. But where does home end up being? What is a proper solution? Home in both places for half a year each? Would that do it? Will I need to get a specific kind of job? Would I be able to live half a year of my life in Korea? Would I be able to do that?
I know none of this matters. The truth is that "second class" happens when I think there is a "second class."
It's hard to get out of my own mind sometimes to let things just be as they are.
That's the key to anything. Some people call it letting out the inner child. Others call it feeding the snake. I call it the strange word you say only you and your closest friends understand. The one you might call out during a ping-pong match, or in gruff bark several hours before sexual intercourse. That word is an entrance into the play that is closer to reality than trying to figure out what "gruff" and "sexual" have to do with "feeding" anything.
I've lost some of you with my knee-jerk humor that announces itself to pull out the rug from under your thinking.
There you go. Another "what?", but you are still following if you've stopped thinking. If the words and meaning don't matter anymore, then you are in "this" writing world. You've been lured here under the guise that you were reading about my worries. And, you were. Just as clearly as you can see who wins "Dancing of the Stars" or "The World Series" next week. Yet, we can just as easily see the lines in a painting -- not the actual shapes themselves -- just so close to the painting -- that we follow the single line as it turns in an arc and meets other arcs, as these arcs then expand and pull into a series of triangles and colors. You pull back and it's a Jackson Pollock at the MOMA in your memory. You pull back and it's your wife asleep on Halloween. You pull far enough back and it's just the fun of breathing. You pull before that and it's just dust.
I can touch dust when I follow a line in a drawing. It's easy to get caught up in judging the line. Yet it goes where it goes. If you have the ability to let it, then you just might be able to enjoy it.
How do I say that differently?
I can get caught up in the art of something. That's the closest I come to just going with a moment. In life, I can see that certain things that happen are no different than being a witness to the converging or diverging of lines on a painting. If I spend all my time judging whether the painting is good or not, I might miss the sheer enjoyment of watching the lines pull in and out of themselves. That movement is the thing I can see when I stop worrying or predicting what will happen with Sogee and I in the future. It is what is. Korea or America? Movie or no movie? All these thoughts stop when I can follow the drips in a Jackson Pollock.
I leave for Youngstown next week. If you've got any donations for the film, send an email to pk[at]sanghafilms.com. These can be monetary offerings, which are most welcome, or you could offer physical help, film equipment, food, or any other things I might not have listed but you would be willing to contribute.
I will see you all in Youngstown. Pics and news to follow.