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  • Inside Columbia Magazine / essay-travel / February 2011 / full text (pdf) here

I am sitting on a flat bench at the rear of a Buddhist pagoda and some weekend tourists from Seoul — a boy and a girl — have paused in their photo op to stare. I don’t care. I’ve got my elbows on my knees and my face in my hands and I am crying the way a child does, hitching in my breath and boo-hoo-hooing. I am the only white person around; this, for some reason, emboldens me. I never cried in public before I moved to Korea.

  • Flourish / essay-spirituality / March 2011 / full text here

It’s winter, and the trees are sticks with giant frosted feathers glued to the tips. The Canada goose bends its wings just so and catches that swath of air, and the last remnants of Monday’s ice storm are making microscopic kaleidoscopes in the half-sun as they melt. Your daughter crushed a blade of grass by the sidewalk when you dropped her off at school, and it is bending its way slowly back. It takes four hours. You are thinking about something else and God is utterly spent; we are blind, or cruel, lovers.

  • Ssseko Designs / copy-profiles / Winter-spring 2011 / full text online here

The radio in the workshop plays quietly, mostly talk and commercials, so Susan sings over it as if willing it to play music. She sways to her own beat as she measures out a sandal strap as a quality check. “The perfect strap!” she trills, echoing a Sseko tagline, and the other girls giggle. Shoulders pushed back, naturally confident, Susan moves around the workshop like it’s her second home.

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