Thursday, December 27, 2012

#29 (recappin'2)

All that to say this was a lead up to CHRISTMAS. Oh Advent. IN the midst of the blur and nonstop conversation there was the waiting and the longing and the music mix and my hatred of itunes11 and no itunes dj. But the advent mix came out well despite and captured it all perfectly as a backdrop to and from the hills and valleys of the island. The christmas mix however lacked the range it needed to truly take you through 12 days though i do still listen to it. It is only day 4 after all. And there was the crick in the middle of my back which won't go away. It actually hurts. Like something horrible happened to it. I hope it gets better. I went to the chiro wednesday.

At a certain point in the last 2 weeks I lost track of time. It became unhinged and erratic and completely then, off the tracks. I grasped it somewhat by marking down the days- which gave me some idea of the location- the rapidity at which i was descending. I read the advent emails and the christmastide meditation. I wore my necklace. I lost the symbol of the trinity somewhere at school- the lapis beads bouncing on the floor into unknown corners... And this recap helping to rein it in though i regret that i am not really writing but recounting- and the details lacking in flavor and focus since i'm still in motion as I type...

Sg said we could celebrate Christmas with our classes on monday. True to her she wanted us to have fun but not too much fun, not do work but do work, celebrate but not celebrate too much. I took that to mean that english had to be in there somewhere but where? and if not? then... ok. And if I forgot to give them homework then... I was the only one who really embraced it. I hung up snowflakes. I made trees and ornaments. Ji hoon- one of my favorite kids said, teacher you're the only one- music, decorations, party? I shrugged. Secretly delighted. I taught them to make snowflakes. I promised myself not to be withholding to the kids who didn't really "deserve" my kindness or my love. I gave it to them anyway. I gave them chocolate and the best stickers. Because it was Christmas eve. Whether they knew it or not. One class really got into it and belted out SantaClaus is coming to Town. We played limbo. We did word searches. There was failure and mostly success and I felt good about how it all came together and that was all prelude to,

operation CHRISTMAS.

One day a while back I thought, in a rather epiphanal way, wouldn't it be fun to find a tree in the forest and decorate it? I mentioned it to others feeling it out and found it caught fire with a few people enough to rally with me into the unknown. And like all great ideas it also met with opposition. One girl actually used the phrase, oh i thought you were going to leave a whole bunch of trash in the forest. I stared at her and thought, holy that's judgmental. She did acknowledge and I was like, oh god, lighten up. Though i probably, if not encouraged by some of my friends- as i said- to use biodegradable materials, wouldve used if not plastic, glass...but ok. Fine. Paper. Popcorn. String. Finish. Another couple people were like, isn't that illegal? Seriously people? I GUESS. Which as we planned and gathered and made- i felt a bit rebel, a bit visionary. As it went on i thought- withorwithout i will do this. I will soldier on. I actually told the people in the car with me... This is survival of the fittest people. Be strong or get out. I wont be detered by icy roads, bad weather, people whining about car rentals and then not coming, or people like my former flatmate completely going MIA. Or my former coworker kris canceling on me. Naysaying. Or the nervousness of Emily's mother driving into the mess (though ok, i was concerned and tempered my bullishness for her i will say- because she's emily's mom and it was their families first christmas together in 4 years- while for one brief morning moment of what the hell are you saying?! what!oh ok. let's go then.I wouldn't be stopped. They all shook their heads and were like, have you ever heard of someone doing something like this? Am i really that original? I GUESS.)

I have no idea why it became this Have To Do. But it did. And it was magical and everyone had a goodtime. I felt a little bit like calamity might meet us at any moment but it didn't. We met. We got mcd's and i realized of course i cant have the sausage mcmuffin. What was i thinking!?. We left Meaghan behind. We traveled up the harrowing almost but not quite icy road. We encountered snow fluffed trees in a brilliant tableau of row after row of Narnian wintery bliss. We parked. We braved squat toilets. We walked on despite protests of "how much further"- "it's getting slippery". "I'm cold"... Just a little further. About a mile I made them walk apparently into the forest... We haven't found the trees yet. And then we did. And we went for it. And people met us on the road wearing santa hats and took pictures with us, we chimed merry christmas perfectly in between a verse in the hymn we sang- and when it came to carol the first time most everyone had the leaflet from church that had all the verses thinking- yes this would be perfect. And it was- we sang, Silent Night, Away in a Manger, We Three Kings, Hark the Harold, and Joy to the World... all the way from the trees to the snowmen and back to the car. We took pictures. We laughed. And it was brilliant. People exclaimed- this is so much fun!

We turned back on the brink of too cold and too tired. And made it to have smoked and bbq duck. The owner accidentally gave us soju in a water bottle. We laughed uproariously. He didn't believe us. He tried it. He grumbled. The other table laughed. Anywhere but us it would've been taken and consumed in 2 minutes flat if it werent for 2 drivers (though i had a few sips) and a bunch of non-drinkers. We eventually got the water.

Then we took emily's family up the hill to see the only train on jeju. It doesn't go anywhere. I walked the painful stone path. We talked about spiritual journies. About how in all of narnias books the most devastating was that susan didn't believe. We talked about saving lives and paths taken... we talked about the nutmeg forest - since emily says she and Craig and D went back there and realized the sign didn't say you had to take your shoes off... they missed the point. They missed it entirely caught up in a technicality. A technicality made to reduce what we did to idiocy or foolishness. It's like when my friend said 5 years after the fact- we didn't really save that girls life-- and i'm thinking you're an idiot- Of course we did. Believe people. Believe. It's more than meets the eye. It's not the point. Is it? It's like saying the magical day in the snow was nothing special- that emily's first christmas as a christian didn't mean anything. That it's just paper, and frozen water molecules... and sound echoing out into a void.

It's NOT. And after, we sjt, yeasl and ejiro went on to get dessert and coffee. We continued to talk death, and life and struggle. And then sjt, yeasl and me watched the grinch who stole christmas, uploaded photos and did our makeup. We met Kris for jazzy renditions of hymns and carols at a place called Seba. And then I drove them back home and I went to bed not knowing what hit me. Or where I was. Up early to return the car. Go to the chiro. Go to work. and go go go. And here we are at friday again. I'm EXHAUSTED.

But something, somewhere has transpired. I've put my finger on a few things. And I've had the most Christmasy Christmas ever. And this weekend there will be more hiking and more eating and coffee. And this, day 29.

12months and some change Adventured,
xo, m.


somebody's mom said...

Wonder if a tree in No Ho's wilds will get decorated in 2013.

almost anonymous said...

So is there a complete photo set of this Christmas adventure? I feel like I've seen bits and pieces, but not the usual chronicling of the event.