the metaphysics of moving

Posted: December 22, 2010 in domestication, expatriate, marriage, wife, husband, house

I spent most of the day at home yesterday.  However, the glory of sitting on my ass on a Tuesday was not a desired form of relaxation.  Instead of reading a book or working on my own book, I spent most of yesterday online juggling emails from prospective buyers.  Reality started to seep into my brain as I sold off a toaster oven, a food processor and a bike.  There is an extra 115,000 KRW in my pocket and a few more echoes in the house (that toaster oven really absorbed some sounds).  Today, there are bigger pieces up for viewing.  Divestiture of worldly belongings has begun.  It is, though, the divestiture of another kind which has caused some introspection.  Finally.

For as long as I’ve had the countdown on for my departure from Korea, it has just seemed like abstractions: numbers, minutes, days, hours that really had no meaning attached to them.  In the same way that the idea of being married has taken a little time to settle in, the idea of leaving Korea has me muttering to myself, wondering if it’s really true.  I find it difficult to wrap my mind around leaving this country not because I have the most outstanding group of friends, though there are a quality few (I’ve grown to be a bit of a xenophobe against the expats here; though this sounds like a contradiction in terms, I have seen—and maybe even done—some things that I am ashamed of; Westerners by and large being brash and immodest when compared to the older generation of Koreans).  Anyhow, the thought of leaving is tough because I have experienced here a few metaphysical lives, deaths and rebirths.  Who would want to leave the homeland of his latest-revealed Self?

But, it is in the leaving that the newly-born manifestation grows into his faculties.  These faculties are refined and honed from the previous Self, the previous Self really not having gone away in spite of its death.  The previous Selves go with me wherever I go and whatever I do.  Often, they are buried far below the surface, as a fossil in stratified rock or ancestors in a family grave.  In any case, were I not to move on with the present Self, I would be disrespecting the toil and difficulties endured by my other Mes.

This morning on our walk to the top of a small mountain near our apartment, Nic and I stopped and watched the large, setting moon.  Its nearly full orb was un-obscured by the low-lying morning haze as it sank slowly in the light blue-pink sky.  With the future looming as large as a setting Winter Solstice moon, I thought of the moderation of my expectations.  Given that the emptying of the apartment has begun, I started to think in much more real, tangible terms about what exactly it is that I want from the finish of this chapter in Korea.  And what do I want from the interim in southeast Asia and the Himalaya?  How will I be temperate in my hopes for career and family in the motherland?

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