Monday, October 10, 2011


for well over a month we did not have tv
and even though I am the big Voice of the dangers
of too much tube and screen-in-general exposure
I missed it and admitted it
even though I was teased (a fair amount)

so I found that watching things on HULU
gave me the small screen fix of escape that helped me
I might have mentioned it already
can't remember

first, it was the old Sherlock Holmes series
with the leads played by humorous types in the BBC tradition
it felt like...
when that was over
I looked around for another "series" type show
and accidentally came upon "Jewel in the Palace"
created in Korea with English subtitles
it was apparently a huge success in Korea
historical fiction
I found myself riveted to the characters
and it was very cathartic to cry and laugh
struggling through the complexities
of trying to keep people and positions
in order

the drama
the humorous couple
the palace intrigue
and mostly the pure humanity of individuals
going through life's issues
with universal touches of understanding
pain and hope
themes of good and evil
love and loss
cheering on the great good people
helplessly observing with sadness
when selfishness and greed won certain battles of will...

at one point, since so much of the story revolves around
cooking in the Palace kitchen
I found myself craving Korean food
so I went to a small Korean restaurant here in town
and had lunch alone
when I complimented the cook
for the delicious as well as healing food,
I glanced at the business cards on the counter
and noticed the owner's name: Gloria Shim

I enjoyed the connection even more when she came out to meet me
she told me that her mother was dealing with cancer
and gave me ideas about good foods from her point of view
and experience.
when I mentioned the Jewel in the Palace,
she looked at me and said
"make sure you go outside and don't watch too much TV (!)"...
and I laughed thinking how much my kids and husband
would laugh at me getting scolded
for what I have been known to give them a hard time with!

there were so many scenes that have stayed with me
and one stands out at this moment

there was a wonderful elder character named Lady Jung
who was named as the Highest Kitchen Lady
as more of a political ploy to use her as a puppet figure
but instead
she ended up being a hugely significant person
a flashback scene showed her
with a group of little girls sitting at her feet
as she sang story songs to them
songs of tradition in a marvelous warbly powerful Voice
of tradition and history and enchantment
the faces of the little girl listeners
were so precious
they loved her as a grandmother
they were all orphans in a way
since leaving their own families behind
or losing their families in other ways

this woman sitting and singing made me cry and cry
she somehow personified the person I wish I could
that I could find a song and story worth singing
and telling
the spirit of a grand mother
the tradition of storyteller
reflecting on that in such a personal way


  1. Reflecting on were we might go can bring sorrow when we are not sure what the future might bring...that being said. In my book you are already a storyteller who effected my life and the lives of several people in a BIG way. Friendships that might have never been formed happened. One can not measure or mourn the gift given in the telling of your card making story.

  2. You are a "very beautiful person" who has shared so many great stories, thank you for sharing your trip to the restaurant and experiencing watching television on your computer. Anymore one has to be really picky because there is so little on of interest, but every now and again we do get to find some "rare good stories" that make us stop and think and wonder and experience "real life".

    Sending you warm and gentle hugs each and everyday, Love you, Jody & Terry