Monday, October 29, 2007

Flying Friar

The friar is flying again. After a hectic week with last minute preparations complicated by a hard disk failure and needing to restore everything I'm catching the plane to Brisbane for a provincial chapter. And 5 days later returning to Korea.

After that it's the peace conference - - and my duties on the staff of that.

And two days after that finishes I depart Korea for 5 months overseas - mostly for my Franciscan study in Canterbury.

So if there is anyone still checking here occasionally for news or photos there might be - and as I get occasion in travels I will try to write.

The book I am reading at the moment: "Riding the gentled ox home"
by a kiwi friend of mine, Graeme Webb. He explores the Buddhist ox-herding pictures from a Christian perspective. Buy it!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Country Life

These days the farmers are busy with harvesting the rice which has been ripening in full golden ears. Any flat surface, such as roads, is covered with freshly harvested rice drying in the daytime warmth. Last month, in late summer, early autumn, we had red peppers, also laid on the roads, drying in the hot dry air and farmers were planting crops of cabbage and radish. Soon, in early winter, these will be harvested and with the sauce made from the dried chillies and other ingredients made into the winter kimchi.

Other seasonal patterns surround us. As I write these words I am on the train into Seoul. Today it's full; autumn picnickers and mountain climbers and school groups on days out have taken all the seats. A crocodile line of elementary school students in identical black track pants, black and white striped tops and orange and yellow back packs has just taken over the aisle. Passengers sitting nearby are sharing snacks with the children. Those nearby me are very curious about what this foreigner with a laptop is writing about. In summer it was students during the summer vacation. The university students are busy with mid-semester exams this and next week so they are not to be seen. I'm pleased I made an advance reservation today, or else I would be standing for the 1 hour, 40 minute trip into Seoul.