All the words and words and words and words in the previous post?  They're now being zenned out by this dude.  Ajahn Chah.  I started reading the collection of his Dharma talks, Being Dharma:  The Essence of Buddha's Teachings.

Holy vegan macaroni.  My whole worldview is being transformed.  I'm a rookie in this department, but I'm a fan.  Not that I'm going to run off to try and find enlightenment and nirvana.  I don't have time for that.  Nor do I have any desire to subscribe fully to any one religion.  But Ajahn Chah explains the Buddhist practice in such simple terms that it is almost moronic not to apply them to your life and the situations that are thrown at you.  I'm trying and it's hard. I'm hitting and missing; just can't always control the crazy.  But the overall message and idea is sound and one I'm going to keep working to incorporate in my life.

Go forth.  Read it.  That's about all I can say without totally kooking out.

In other news, how impressive am I to make two posts within a week?

Here's a story:  I took Monday off to sit and read at the beach and work through m'brain; needed a mental health day.  Woke up with a few nuts still loose, refreshed myself with some pages from Ajahn Chah, and zenfully grooved out the door to catch my train back to Ulsan.  I was jamming to some toons in the subway when the oldest ajusshi I've ever seen tapped me smack on my head said "Pep" and pointed to my feet.  Obviously, I have no idea what he was actually saying or referring to.  But I'd like to assume he was telling me I had pep in my step.  I was sassyin' along to my music.

...It's definitely going to be hard to go back to living in a place where I understand everything that's being said and can't just turn it into whatever I want...

Here's to Anjahn Chah and peppy steps.


Goodbyes from amazing people, cameo lovers, Matty and ink

Goodbyes...They are beginning.  Or ending.  Or both.  Or...hmm.

Somehow I ended up creating a family with people who all arrived around the same time as me.  And now they are all beginning to leave.  Two down, a handful more to go.  I'll be the last man standing, along with my two of my most lovely ladies, who are luckily heading to Bali with me.  I'll say goodbye to one after that, and continue on with the other throughout SE Asia.  I'll say goodbye to her at the end of August before I embark on Sri Lanka alone.

Alone at the end of a 16 month adventure just hit me.  Might not have planned that one well....

I mean.  I get teary eyed ending a three week vacation, what in flippin' tar-nation am I going to do in two months when I throw my last peace sign at this land after living here for 13 months?  It's not the land I'm going to miss, though.  Korea, as a destination, was hit and miss this year.  All the hits came from the people I have fallen in love with.  My experience here has been baaaaallin' thanks to them.  And now I have to accept that I'll likely never see most of them again.  A few, sure, perhaps on future travels together (because at the very least, I know that these people will continue seeing the world, as will I), but for the most part, let's be honest: we've got Facebook.

I'm trying to let the universe do her thang, but the bittersweet'ness of this is all compounded by the fact that I have been seeing and investing time in one beautiful, veganly cooking, ridiculous pun-telling, lovely tattoo'd, finely pierced, genuine and kind Irishman (this is legitimately what I call him, I might not actually know his name).  So not only am I anxiously transitioning my life in two months by peacing out of the country and adios'ing my friends, I've now also gotta au revior someone who's infiltrated m'heart.  A cameo-lover, if you will.  Alas, the end is nigh, yall.  Soooo dang nigh.  For friendships and cameo-lovers alike.

Brain.  Implosion.

In any case, what I'm doing in my brain right now as the 59 day countdown closes in is 1) freaking, and 2) making it a lesson: gotta go with the flow, take the things/people/animals/etc the universe throws at me, relish in them, love them up, down and all around, and be able to let them go.  Momma's gotta get a hold on that free spirit, because I sho' am making plans for my future that keep me from settling down any time'ish.

What I've learned from this lesson-I-am-learning-and-trying-harder-to-learn is that I am basically always surrounded by incredibles.  They rock.  I've invested in a lot of time, emotion, and love into them all, as they have with me.  Whatever happens with us all, happens, and that's cool because what we have is fucking awesome shared experiences together, always with the potential for more down the road.  I'm gonna guess this isn't the only batch of incredibles thrown at me by the universe.  There will be more.  And I'm going to fearlessly embrace the hell out of them, too. 

People.  I'm loving them all (but I haven't forgotten the animals.  I REALLY LOVE THOSE, TOO).

Remember when my blogs were clever and funny and about things?  I think I remember telling a tale or two.  Now it's just crazy-brain ramblings.  Might be time to sign off and actually start a journal.

But if I did that, I wouldn't be able to share THIS:

Matty lives in Cali now!  That's his "Pimpin' ain't easy" look.

And...my new ink!  I've been wanting this for years, to cover up the dumb meaningless thing I got when I was 18 that my mom hated.  So now, finally 11 years later, I have something that I think is beautiful.  It was an amazing experience, too, all underground (some vague legalities about tattoos in Korea), and the man who did it is a straight up artist; this bad boy was free-handed:

feel totally weird posting my torso on the web. feel weirder posting  just how pink my bathroom tile is.

And this is that and that is that.