THE KOREA KRONICLES, PART XIV: Dispatches from the Ice Palace

This morning was the first on a day off from work since I came back to Korea a month ago that I didn’t wake up next to someone, and it felt really strange. This weekend is 설날 (“Seolnal”), also known as the Korean New Year or Lunar New Year. Typically, it falls on the second New Moon following the Winter Solstice and is a time when Koreans return to their hometowns to be with their family, eat traditional food, drink soju, celebrate the passage of another year, and perform ancestral rites. The practical effect of this for me is that my boyfriend, who we’ll call DG, won’t be coming to see me until Saturday evening, even though the both of us have a long weekend. He’ll be celebrating with his family in Busan and, as a result, I hope to be forgiven my mild melancholy. Okay, I admit, it’s not that bad. It’s just that it’s cold and it’s nice to be able to snuggle up to someone special when the chill starts to bite, which it does in my sometimes frigid apartment. Continue reading

To Those With Open Hearts, an Open Letter

I often feel like figuring out life is like learning to play guitar. Hopefully I'm better at life than I am at guitar.

I often feel as though the act of figuring out life is like learning to play guitar. Hopefully I’m better at life than I am at guitar.

My dear friends, if you don’t mind, and if you have the time, I’d like to chat with you for a moment. Turning points like this confront us in life from time to time and how we handle—or don’t handle—them can often shape the course of things to come in ways we seldom foresee. It may be that with the words I say here I will burn every single bridge of fellowship that’s been built during my brief life. I’m grateful that probably won’t be the case but, even if it were, it would be a small price to pay for the joy of being finally, truly honest about who and what I am.

What I’m about to discuss is no great secret and, in fact, I strove to be forthright about where I was—spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally—any time someone cared enough to inquire. It’s never easy asking someone deeply personal questions and it’s been my belief that if someone is bold enough to ask, I ought to be bold enough to answer. But first, and before anything else, I want you all to know something: I love you. The people with whom a man shares his life are his true treasure and I’m deeply grateful to have so many wonderful, generous, and kind people who I can call friends. It certainly makes what I have to say that much easier.

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