A Mountain Flaneur?

Lughnasa and the Korea Moon

Thursday gratefuls: My son’s leadership style. Gentle and nurturing. Clear. Seoah and the new golf bag. Her treats from Gangnam. Kaesong little donuts among them. A base pass for Osan. The BX. Becoming a Mountain flaneur. The Oriental House at the Osan golf course. Lunch there yesterday with Seoah and my son. Muscle relaxants. Learning to live with spinal stenosis.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The human journey from birth to death

One brief shining: In the base pass office at Osan men and women in desert camo, light tan high top boots, came in and out bearing small insignias saying where they stood in the Air Force hierarchy: a dark oak leaf my son wore-lieutenant colonel, a pair of wings, airman first class, a brown oak leaf-major instant placement in the highly ordered military social structure.


Got my base pass as a long term visitor. I can now come and go on Osan Air Base as a scrutinized civilian. Less important here in Songtan since my son and Seoah live off base but it does mean I can come and go when I need to without getting a day pass. No surrendering my driver’s license for the duration of my stay, then returning to the day pass office to retrieve it. Mary had a base pass at Hickam and used it a lot.

Another turn of Korean medicine today. See Doctor then the massage guy. A less intense visit though which should translate to cheaper. No x-ray, less time in the procedure’s area.


Random thoughts while figuring out to how live with slow walking as a lifestyle. First one. Here’s the rub about death. We spend our lives discovering and pursuing our passion, engaging life and its many gifts, struggles, then we let go of our passion for life and embrace the quiet moment. That’s a difficult transition to make emotionally. It’s not about fear but about doing the only thing you’ve even known, living, and exchanging it for a permanent experience of the unknown. Not at all like hitting the brakes more like switching from driving to floating.

Becoming a Mountain flaneur.* As I reflected on a literally slower pace to life, the first word that came to mind was flaneur. A very urban image, yes, but one I could adapt to Mountain living. Instead of hiking, strolling or sauntering on a Mountain trail. The flaneur is an observer, a patient and measured walker whose soul purpose lies in witnessing his world.

It may be that my body has declared itself a flaneur by default. If so, I’m fine with that. Not sure how one exercises in this situation, something to learn. Or, how I’m going to explore Korea and Israel. At a more relaxed pace, no doubt.

Though I refuse to let this change define me, I do have to recognize it may be a permanent limitation, one I’ll have to adapt to, rather than cure. My primary identity is not challenged, but my physical expression of my self may well be. Not unlike cancer. Can’t ignore it, can’t obsess about it.



*”Flâneur is a French noun referring to a person, literally meaning “stroller”, “lounger”, “saunterer”, or “loafer”, but with some nuanced additional meanings. Flânerie is the act of strolling, with all of its accompanying associations…Traditionally depicted as male, a flâneur is an ambivalent figure of urban affluence and modernity, representing the ability to wander detached from society with no other purpose than to be an acute observer of industrialized, contemporary life. ” wiki