Monday, March 29, 2010

Go Hapa!!!

Kip Fulbeck started this project a while ago, traveling all over to photograph persons of Asian descent and recording their answers to the question, "What are you?".

The result in a stunning photographic exhibit, a book and "online community".

Check it out.

The Hapa Project

Friday, March 26, 2010

From Zen Kimchi: Dried Persimmons

A great post on dried persimmons, something that I've tasted all of one time. Read the full story here, but to start you off...

Dried Persimmons:

“…and I’m bringing the thing that’s scarier than a tiger.”

It took me all 10 seconds to interpret my father’s email a few days before his visit.

The Korean folk tale about dried persimmons goes something like this. Once upon a time, a mother was trying to calm her crying baby. She said, “if you don’t stop crying, a tiger will take you away.” The baby, now more scared at the thought of a tiger, cried louder. The mom was frustrated and didn’t know how to stop this mad crying from her son, so she gave in and said, “ok, if you stop crying, I’ll give you a gotgam (곶감; dried persimmon).” The baby, thinking of a sweet, soft gotgam, finally stopped crying.

All this time, a tiger was eavesdropping from outside. When gotgam finally stopped the baby’s crying, the tiger said to himself, “this gotgam thing, whatever it is, must be something really scary, even scarier than me!” So the tiger ran away before the scary gotgam made its entrance.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

An exercise in music and words

Went for a run tonight, picking my way over the rutted roads of an early spring thaw, hoping i didn't lose an ankle to the pitted surface. Pushing the buds firmly in my ears, I turned up the music on my Shuffle, urging my winter-bound body to move, stretch and pound its way past the ache of recently dormant muscles and biting cold.

Oh the biting cold.

The cloud cover had edged away and the sun was newly set, leaving a purple cast in the sky. One song after another filtered through my head, setting a quick rhythm. As I reached for and found the peace that washes over me after a quarter hour of hard, foot pounding work, the songs continued to fill my head--mindless, joyful noise.

Eventually, as my body and lungs requested a break, i slowed to a walk. The songs slowed down too, breaking into melancholy cries of lost love. Looking up at the now visible stars, I picked out familiar markers--the Big Dipper, Orion, the Seven Sisters--I felt my mood shift to nostalgia, memories creeping into my head like a slide show set to music.

The fresh spring air was sharp, clean and cold in my lungs. The sky was clear and sparkling. The music was sad and my mind was filled emotion. I wandered home, losing the stars under the yellow light of the village's street lamp.