Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer?

It is keeping peace and good relations between people,

as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind.

- Prophet Mohammed


Day 7

Monday morning came again and as usual I wasn't a fan. I guess it's not that I hate the morning, but more that I always question how well I spent the weekend. If it was a wild weekend, I lament that I didn't relax enough and if it was a relaxing one, then I regret not making the most of it. I guess that's the challenge of second guessing most of the decisions I make though, huh? 

My alarm was set for 5:30am. Since my wife changed her schedule around, I've been given an extra thirty-minutes of glorious sleep. Unfortunately, I still manage to wake up before the alarm actually goes off and today was no different. I opened my eyes at 5:29 and tried to pull the old wake-up-a-minute-before-the-alarm-goes-off-and-try-to-go-back-to-sleep routine. It didn't really work. The alarm went off as planned and sat up and placed my Bobby's World-looking feet on the faux-wood floor. 


I went down hard. I'm talking hard like arms had to extend in front of me to protect my upper body from slamming against the hard floor. It was a little shocking to say the least.

"Honey, are you okay? What are you doing?" my wife asked in a half-asleep stutter. 

I mean, damn. I know she was asleep, but is there anything that I actually could be doing in such a situation?

"Nothing, honey. I'm fine," I softly replied.

"Is it seven?" she asked.

"What? No, it's five-thirty, " I told her.

"Is it six?"

"What are you talking about?! Go back to sleep," I chided. 

I don't know what she was dreaming about, but I wish it was a reality because I would love the extra sleep. Eh, I don't what I'm whining about. I'm only 27; living abroad and have a pretty simple job that happens to pay gobs of money. I can handle working fifteen hours a day for now. Besides, what else am I going to do? I'm not pushing a certain ethic at all, but I do adhere to the timeless quote of one of my favorite American presidents. 
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. -Thomas Jefferson
So, for now, I can hang with the extended work hours. Plus, I'm in Korea and these loons know how to put in the hours, so my complaints would only fall on deaf ears (or eyes).

I allowed my wife to readjust her position a bit before trying to stand again. After a few silent seconds, she appeared to be soundly sleeping again, so I lifted my now 69km body.


Your guess was as good as mine. How did I fall again? I quickly crawled out of the bedroom hoping to avoid re-hatching the same conversation. Once in the living room, I surveyed the damage. My right baby toe was purple with a nice fresh gash resting directly below the toenail. I tried to move it; nothing.

"Perfect, " I thought, "now I get to call myself into work and cancel my classes."

I hate missing work. It's not that I love it that much, but I have tons of students that would need to be alerted of my absence and that work alone isn't much graver than actually hobbling in and doing my thing. I decided the best thing to do was tough it up and hop in the shower.

Once in there, the toe started to feel a little better, but the pain wasn't really the unsettling part. What was more vexing was how such an injury occured. I tried to piece together the end of my night but kept coming up with a very normal scenario. Apparently, I must have injured it in what might be another sleepwalking venture. I don't know much about the causes of sleepwalking or what it means, but I was told by the Internet that it might be that I have "difficulty handling aggression" or something like that. 


The rest of the day kind of followed that same pattern. I rode my bicycle to work, but much of the joy was stolen by the toe pain. Work was normal, but I couldn't really stand or walk around the classroom. In fact, my daily work routine had to be severely tweaked because of my mysterious toe injury. 

After the whole work day was over, I slowly peddled up the long hill and made it back home. My wife was out at that point and while I'm usually overly eager to see her and plant a wet one right on her adorably crooked smile, I was pleased to find an empty house. All day I had been dealing with students and my toe pain that not even a moment had gone to my own thoughts. I hate that. Quakerism aside, I need some time to reflect -we all do. I can organize my thoughts and take a look at them one at a time. 

I dimmed the lights, sat down on my floor and thought. My brain certainly coasted from thought to thought but it eventually settled on the thought of love and oneness with God. The concept beautifully combines both Catholic and Buddhist principles. It acknowledges the loving power of God while offering some comfort in feeling God within you. I don't know if I'm doing it right or being a good Quakers when I'm praying, but the following poem by Mary Oliver really sticks with me...


It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

I went to sleep relaxed and with a smile on my face. It's amazing what a little silent time can do for the human soul. The sounds of life might be beautiful at times, but the silent sound of the soul is what bonds us to this life and world.


  1. This was a wonderful post. Sorry about the mysterious toe injury but I am impressed with your ability to put your self in a perfect place.

  2. I don’t think the sleepwalking is new. I seem to remember almost being peed on at some point. Thanks, Rhett.

  3. Sleep-peeing is not new, although I believe I'm passed that. I don't drink soju anymore, so I believe I am a big boy.