Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wishing I Could Hear Your Voice Again...

I've had "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again," from The Phantom of the Opera stuck in my head today, and it has been very appropriate, since I've had Korea on my mind again. One line in particular seems very apt: "Wishing I could hear your voice again, knowing that I never will." Getting back to life in the USA has been a lot harder on me than anyone else knows - mostly since I haven't let on to anyone how I feel. I dream about Korea several nights each week, and I still can't look at my photos without tearing up. I fell wholeheartedly in love with a country and an entire school full of children, and I get a stabbing pain in the heart every time I remember them.

It has always been far too easy for me to love, which means that wherever I am, I'm always missing someone. In the past, this was never a huge issue, since I can still phone, email, or visit those who are dear and far away. The situation with Korea, however, is like losing several loved ones to death - sure they're still alive, but I'll never see them again. There is a permanent separation here that does not exist in my usual relationships. It was so heavenly to have so many children to love (and an entire country) for a year, but now I'm left trying to adjust to life without them. I read my replacement teacher's blog today, and it made me cry because of all I had to leave behind. How much longer before I can look at pictures and videos from my year in Korea without giving in to tears?

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"