I’ve spent the last few weeks loading pictures onto my photosite. This evening, I came across some I’d taken exactly two years ago. I’d arrived in Daegu the day before to make the hike up to Gatbawi, and my friend, JaeAn Sunim had called to say he’d be arriving in Daegu later that evening. We met in the city, then we drove back to Palgongsan to visit a friend of his who had a small temple on a little dirt road off the road that winds its way up to DongHwaSa. We slept at the temple that night as the rain poured down. It was cozy in the old wooden structures with traditional heated floors. The longer I’m in Korea, the more I’m charmed by the small, unknown, sparsely visited temples. In the morning, the mountain, and everything on it, was covered in thick mist. White clouds in the mountains after the rain are one of my favorite sights in Korea.
We got up early and headed up the mountain, deeper into the haze, to DongHwaSa, where JaeAhn was expected for a ceremony. The air was so thick was moisture that you could make out little more than what was right in front of you. I’d been to that temple maybe a dozen times before, but had never felt so embraced by the grounds. Just beyond every tiled roof was an abyss, the edge of the world, the end of thoughts, always just beyond. How I long to go beyond; my little paradox. I sat in the main hall for a for a long while, trying to get one step closer. No lessons learned, no great story to tell, just a quiet, peaceful, and joyful memory.
> small temple <
> Dong Hwa Sa <