I’ve written about heaven before. Jesus showed us that heaven is a place on earth. Or was that some rock band I wasn’t allowed to listen to in the 80s? The 90s? Whatever. The thing is, there exist on this earth special places where I am sure, if God or the prophets were walking barefoot […]


I start writing this confession on a bleak Friday afternoon, and even though I am still full of Thursday’s Thanksgiving Table, I’ve just stuffed my body with waffles and eggs and bacon and syrup. Winter is coming, after all. If I was home already, the coming weekend would herald the changing of the seasons. Spring giving […]

New York, Don’t Panic

Don’t panic, It’s ok, I’m here, I’ve bloody-well arrived. Making it to New York marks a major milestone in my trip – and I feel funny about it. Some of my anxiety is probably quite rational – unlike my fear of birds, hedges, and footpaths. The thing is, New York is something of a “black hole” in my […]

Sopyonjae: The Accumulation and Resolution of Han

My review of Sopyonjae appears in this month’s edition of 미르 (Mirror), the magazine published by The National Theater of Korea. You can see a digital copy in Korean, here (see page 52). — Evoking the iconic scene from Im Kwon-taek’s original 1993 film, The National Changgeuk Company’s Sopyonjae opens with the itinerant pansori singer Yubong wandering down a winding mountain […]

Progress? Perhaps.

NOTE: The photo above is clearly not of me. On my final lesson in my second-last week here, my teacher asked if there was anything else I wanted to learn. I worked up the courage to say… 심봉사 눈뜨는 대목… This is the climax of Shimcheongga, where old blind Mr. Shim finally comes face to […]