Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Below Freezing, Sangmo and Congrats to Wonjung!

October 26th, 2010
I stayed warm at home until I had to go back to the hospital to do the follow up on my knee. What with the conversations the previous day, I had learned that what went into my knee was actually a kind of steroid, which is total BS in my opinion. If all I wanted was for my knee not to hurt I could take painkillers (more than I do). Even worse, when I went to 상모 sangmo class in the evening and actually started really working out the knee for the first time since I got the shot, guess what, it hurt just the same as it ever has (or worse because it’s cold enough (below freezing) that I actually uttered the sentence I never thought I’d say “I miss LA weather.”) Yes, I still feel pretty low energy, but I refuse to let my body hijack my life anymore than it has the past couple days. And I’m freaking sick of Severance Hospital.

We only had six people in sangmo class tonight, all people whose names I know, three plus me being week 8 summer 2010 participants in the 임실필봉농악전수프로그램 Imshil Pilbong Nongak Training Program. The other two are 현석 Hyeonseok the high schooler I wrote about a couple weeks back and a junior member in the school drumming club of one of my week 8 fellows. That guy, 형제 (형재?) Hyeongjae is still in his very initial stages, so for once today I was the middle group (all by myself) with the other four in the advanced group on one side of the room while Hyeongjae and I both struggled with our own easier tasks. 이종휘 Yi Jonghui is back from the American performance tour he was on (and frustrated he can’t speak English and vowing he’s going to study). He checked all our progress and the advanced group started working on polishing their 나비사 nabisa, the butterfly movement where you circle right, then left, then stop your wand above your head, then move it straight back (not in a circle, but whipping it in a straight line) backwards and forwards, it’s a four count move. So 1 and 2 are the two wings and then 3 and 4 are the line between the two wings representing the body of the butterfly. You draw the line twice. He had them polish nabisa first by reviewing the three different 소고 sogo techniques used together with nabisa. The guys had to stand and practice their sogo without twirling the sangmo for a good fifteen minutes before they were permitted to twirl. Even though I still am not using sogo with my sangmo at all, for some reason Jonghui decided to teach me nabisa. Perhaps he taught me because it’s so freaking hard it’ll take me a long time to learn, so I might as well start practicing now. I did not manage to do a successful 8 count (two cycles) once. Either I’d twirl 1,2,1,2,1,2, and not be able to stop the twirl (in the right place) to do 3,4 or I just practiced the 3,4 movement trying to get a feel for it. My other movements are all getting better, though, slowly but surely.

During our break Hyeonseok explained that he wished he could have been born in an earlier era. This corresponds well with a paper of mine that I’m editing for possible publication at the moment. Study of traditional arts as time travel… intriguing?

Best news of the day? 원중 Wonjung was accepted to the Korea National University of the Arts!

Photo- not actually from the day of this post, but lately I've been eating a lot of open-faced sandwiches on the amazing (AMAZING) bread of the new local bakery.

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