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Archive for the ‘Great Quotes’ Category

This Town

Quote from Craig Thompson’s Good-bye, Chunky Rice

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Tangled Hair

Pale handsome priest

Can you not see

The girl lost in dreams

By the tree of pink blossoms

This spring evening?

                             –Yosano Akiko

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Compensation

For every thing you have missed, you have gained something else; and for every thing you gain, you lose something.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Prelude

Woman on display

I spent this weekend as a shameless tourist, snapping photos like crazy. Yellow dust drifted into Seoul yesterday, so the pictures are a bit on the hazy side.

Unfortunately, I'm way too tired to write or download photos right now. So I'll leave you with a quote I found in Lotus Lantern, a magazine for English-speaking Seon (the Korean equivalent of Zen) Buddhists.

It may seem heartless to lead such an extremely self-centered life, but with the smallest crack in the self-centered life in the [meditation room] the meditative goal disappears and the Seon guest becomes a lazy freeloader.

The way to enlightenment opens only with adamant resolution . . . The pursuit of enlightenment is motivated by the self in chaos and is completed with the self in harmony.

Restless at the beginning, the Seon guest struggles to escape that anxiety once and for all. The Seon guest risks his life in a desperate attempt to gain a true life.

In order to be altruistic, you should be extremely egoistic. Perhaps this is the same as how natural harmony often seems paradoxical.

–Ji Hur Sunim

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While getting ready for my Korean language course, I decided to play a little Nine Inch Nails to speed things up.

It’d been a while since I’d played some NIN, but after an entire month of belting Mariah during that god-awful NYer Infatuation aka Period of Shame (“No, no, no no no no noooooo / I need you baby / I still believe that we can be togetherrrrrr / No no no no!”) I needed something angry and not so desperate.

I was applying lotion when the riff of “The Hand That Feeds” began.

You’re keeping in step in the line
Got your chin held high and you feel just fine
Because you do what you’re told
But inside your heart it is black and it’s hollow and it’s cold

I poked my head out of the bathroom, bobbing along. Hmm, I’d forgotten how catchy this song was. “Just how deep do you believe?” I mumbled, checking if I’d shut the curtains in the living room. Check. I ducked into the room and turned the volume up.

“Will you bite the hand that feeds?” I crooned, my feet spread and my head violently nodding as I fingered my fake guitar. The towel fell and I didn’t bother to pick it up.

Will you chew until it bleeds?
Can you get up off your knees?
Are you brave enough to see?
Do you want to change it?

“Fuck yeah!” I shouted, leaping on my orange, fake-leather sofa, bouncing on the balls of my feet, my fists alternatively pumping in the air. “Fuck you, mothafuckas!”

Fortunately I was alone. I suppose my roommate would have dragged me to the loony bin if she’d walked in to find a naked Asian woman screaming pop rock on the furniture at ten in the morning.

And I’m certain Trent Reznor was talking about the war in Iraq, and not about the four-month plight of a self-absorbed ESL teacher in Korea.

But for those four minutes I couldn’t be restrained. Slaving away in an unfamiliar country and alienated from unfamiliar people had driven me crazy. Something had to come undone.

And now I was free. Doubtful–yes. Scared–sure. Certain I would be broke and dependent on the charity of friends and perverted admirers–of course.

But I’d finally let go. I’d taken a chance and once again I was in charge of my own future.

I think that’s given me the right to sing and dance in the privacy of my own apartment, don’t you think?

So naive to keep holding on to what I want to believe
And I can see but I keep holding on and on and on and on

But don’t think I’m bitter.

I’m grateful. I’m changed. And this time around, I intend to do things with both eyes open.

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"Words are not the highest reality, nor what is expressed in words the highest reality.

Why? Because the highest reality is an experience which cannot be entered into by means of statements regarding it.

The mind must be in a state of wistom to understand wisdom."–Buddhist passage

Entrance to Hwa Gye Sa Temple on Sam Gak Mountain

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