sit quietly, unobtrusively, and damaged on Gangnam-daero thinking about some
things, all things, and nothing in particular.
I am motionless as a city of ten million people flows desperately around
me and the horizon vanishes into the contemptuous smog.
world is torn and it was torn long before I arrived. I swallow hard in an effort to hold back my tears. I never found the thread and needle to fix it
all. If only I could change this
if there was an alternate universe where we lived only as carefree bubbles floating
on waves made of music? What if we could
use giant glowing jellyfish as intergalactic space ships?
if rainbows were dragons we could ride while flying over rolling oceans of
liquid silver? What if those sparkling
oceans were simply the tangled vibrations of future events?
if gravity wasn’t a force but a tiny particle?
And what if we could stretch it out into an eight-pointed star as big as
a planet with gravity acting equally along the entire length of each axis?
if every person we met was just a reincarnation of our self from somewhere else
in time? What if Death was really just another chance to say and do all the
if Forever was a wine we cultivated from fermented stars and sipped under a
bright moon shaped like Love? What if
the cup we used to drink it was made from Hope and Amnesia?
if I had never existed? What if I had
never looked into her eyes? What if
sadness is just a cocoon and the butterfly inside an unborn happiness?
if Peace was a flower we could grow in our backyard and pollinate with the
joyful wagging of a dog’s tail? What
will the wind think when it’s finally time to say, “Goodbye”?
of Seoul. The idea of wagging dog-tail pollination was creatively suggested by another biologist - Michael at Broken Radius.
Good news today! Misaki Ito has a new blog. This makes me very happy! I hope good things come of it. Yeah! Yeah!
I stole the photo from another site. I’m sorry. But endorphins are surging though my body
right now. I have no control.
in my office I heard a woman start screaming.
There is domestic violence here and I thought a boyfriend or husband had
come onto the campus to start trouble. I
went over to the classroom to find one of the students screaming hysterically
and thrashing wildly about. Four or five
students converged on her to restrain her.
I could see she was having a seizure and had the students move her to
the hallway where she wouldn’t injure herself.
It was in fact, a classic “Grand Mal” seizure. Her eyes rolled about wildly while her limbs
become rigid and she closed her fists so very tightly. Within a few minutes her screaming subsided
and her legs and body relaxed though her fists were still tightly clenched.
cousin, also a student suddenly reappeared with some tree leaves and began harshly
rubbing them on the face of the poor, moaning girl.
She rubbed them in her hair, then on the belly, and then on the chest. Sometimes she would slap the sick girl. I asked what she was doing and at that point
I was informed that the girl was possessed by a demon. Yes, a demon.
As an atheist, it took all my strength to remain silent while I watched
the impromptu exorcism take place.
Coconut oil was applied as was ‘holy water’ from a container of
store-bought bottled water. But in these cases there is not much you can do but let the seizure run its course. It is sometimes better to let a family member comfort the patient as they are already familiar with each other.
The cousin seemed satisfied as the possessed girl soon fell asleep. The sleep stage is also part of a Grand Mal
seizure. I did not mention any of this
to her or to the crowd of students that had gathered. In cultures like this, you
simply aren’t going to change their fundamental beliefs. This girl has been having these ‘possessions’
since childhood. Her other relatives
arrived, shook her violently up and down while mumbling some prayers, and then
transported her home. Alas, I did not get the name of this terrible offending demon. And of course, I thought it was all a bit crazy.
a student asked me if I believed in ghosts.
I hesitated, weighing the impact of my answer on my community reputation, then
finally looked at him and said, “No.
Absolutely not.” He laughed
nervously and avoided direct eye contact.
Because you see, out here in their lush, tropical, Pacific-island
homeland, with its haunted ruins and vibrant mythologies, it is me – the outsider
- that is the crazy one.
Just a peasant
ruins of Nan Madol are said to be haunted with all manner of spirits
I started a crab research project and there is always a learning curve. That's what makes science great - there is
always something new to discover. These
are mangrove crabs and their claws are very powerful.
First a bass guitarist, then a biologist, now college faculty, as well as a medical student, and still anonymous.
But it is still quite an adventure and I would rather die a man of great knowledge than a man of great wealth - even if it means living as a peasant.