…between these two posts passes a vast time of vaster misery, the soul or mind’s confinement to a sick body rolling in bed in the harsh bright sunlight of Busan. A visit to the hospital transpired, where a new confinement occurred in a windowless cell which itself inspired thoughts on hierarchies of confinement. I was confined to a sick body in a sick room, unable to abandon either, but there were other confinements piled on top of these: my fateful confinement to this country, to my own abilities and inabilities, to my time and solitude, to my life and the moment of my death, and all sorts of other things besides.
So many of them are confinements of perspective, abstractions that man or circumstance can sculpt. For instance a nice phone conversation with a friend revealed to me the possibility that Busan was not an ugly city; and besides, in Byron’s Prisoner of Chillon, the chained man comes to love his chains, a possibility I fear. Another prisoner, Borges’ Tzinacan, the subject of a perfect story, discovers the universe and the power of god in the writing on a jaguar’s pelt, but after witnessing the infinite he likewise sees how infinitely minuscule he is, and, rather than freeing himself, we gain a great line, a great triumph in the world of words—“that is why, lying in darkness, I allow the days to forget me.”
I have not allowed them to forget me; the infinite is everywhere, no one is blind to it. I am still here, still working toward my desires (though I drool over the line, even with the mismatched gender of its pronouns: “The inheritance Yourcenar received after the death of his father, allowed her to devote herself to writing.”). Dark days may deepen the hues of a writer’s brush, and besides, these days are not so dark. I’m trying to brighten them. It’s not enough to stick it out here for nine more months; I have to try to enjoy myself, otherwise this venture is a failure.
Revelations of conversation, thought, imagery, pass before me like a glimmering carousel whirling in a dizzying blur from the moment I fight to open my eyes to the moment I fight to close them; the shaky chaos of my life will one day lead to peace in the form of books and forests.