tentacle-jewelry-studio

Seoul Sister: A Visit to Tentacle Jewelry Studio

jewelry-store-in-seoulTentacle: what does it mean? To have, to hold. In nature’s grasp

Seoul’s meaning: cunningly cute, so delicate, but firm and strong.

In Latin: tentaculum. To feel, to test, to examine. tentacle-jewelry-studioLook inside. The jewelry is calling me. I want that one.

How to choose? Do we have to, with endless options before us

Be chosen. Maybe that’s what we want. To be tested and selected.jewelry-store-in-seoulLooking up, The Ocean called. Destiny led them to this shore.

Salty breeze. Peaceful and calm, sending them love. Nature grasped more.

It felt good. Tentacles squeezed, releasing slowly. She breathed in.jewelry-store-in-seoulDeep exhale. She touched her throat. He untangled her energy

And necklace. There is so much that we don’t see, below the sea.

He breathed in. It felt easy, the way it should. He stroked her wrist.jewelry-store-in-seoulSea creatures. Do they exist? Maybe they do, like mermaids, right?

Scorpions. Sea creatures, or land animals? I know they sting.

Out of fear. Of course, because no one wants to be trapped, don’t you agree?tentacle-jewelry-studioShe heard it. His breath, or the sound of the waves. Both were pleasing.

Octopus. Are you hungry? I am, and the coastline led them there.

It smelled good. How did you get here? Came with the tide, I guess. Yes.tentacle-jewelry-studioDescribe it: crunchy outside, silky inside. I’ll have that then.

Sounds like me. An inner zeal. Waiting for what? To be held firm.

Like my ring. Firm on my finger, she looked down. Blue tentacles.jewelry-store-in-seoulYou’ve seen one? I have; it squirms, trying to swim away quickly.

Sounds like me. An inner fear. Afraid of what? He felt the same.

She glistened. Like the blue ring, like the ocean. He was in love.tentacle-jewelry-studioTentacles: they come in pairs. In botany. And in our lives.

And maybe. In love, he thought. The ocean crashed, and he felt free.

Free to love. Looking at him, smiling softly. She knows it’s free.tentacle-jewelry-studioThis poem was written in the Korean sijo style of poetry as an homage to Tentacle Jewelry Studio in Seoul, South Korea. My visit to this beautiful country would not have been complete without my unique souvenirs, all designed by Hee Jin Park, from her jewelry studio in Bukchon Village. See more Tentacle pieces here: https://www.instagram.com/tentacle_._._jewelry/


Where to stay in Seoul: Conrad Seoul

What to eat in Seoul: My favorites

See the best art in Seoul: A short guide

Rejuvenate your soul in Seoul: A temple visit

Tentacle5

meditating at the W hotel in a bikini

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: A Staycation Saves the Day

Sometimes the answer to all of your problems is a staycation. What’s a staycation? It’s the vacation where you stay close to home, you don’t have to get on a plane(because who loves TSA lines?!?), and you need to escape your own life for about 48 hours.

One of my most memorable staycations happened when an old boyfriend broke up with me on my birthday. I thought we’d be spending it together poolside, enjoying the warm July weather that washes away the June gloom, signaling that summer is finally here. But instead, it appeared he had made “other plans”. When I hadn’t heard from him a few days prior, I messaged…

“It’s my birthday tomorrow so I thought we’d be spending it together.”

“No, I have other plans.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. You didn’t think we were exclusive, did you?”

OUCH.

Shocked, I don’t even remember how I responded, but I remember sitting in my car sobbing as the gas pump clicked, signaling me to move on – literally and figuratively. With my gas tank full, I picked myself up off the proverbial floor, and drove home stunned. What would I do now with a free weekend, no beau, and no birthday plan in place? I called my best friends to tell them what had happened and they suggested the perfect solace: a staycation.

My staycation proved to be just that – a quick salve for my broken heart. Surrounded by friends, laughs, and my favorite part about L.A. summers – great pool parties! – my short visit to the W Hotel was exactly what I needed. Soaking in the sun, I felt my sadness melting away. This quick getaway was just what I needed!

Slipping away from the bouncy beats at the pool, I wandered away from the crowd. Peeking at me through the bushes was a little figurine meditating in lotus pose. I took this as a serendipitous sign to do the same.

I prostrate in gratitude for all those who made me suffer and helped me to become mature after hard times.

I first heard this mantra when I was at a Buddhist temple in Seoul last year. During an evening recitation of the 108 mantras, this one stayed with me as I reflected on different exes. As much as I suffered at the moment, I learned the lessons I needed to learn from that relationship. No bitterness. No regret. Just resolve.

A friend wandered down the same path, wondering about my whereabouts. “We miss you – come back to the pool!” With the pure love and support of my friends, I knew I’d be okay. This particular birthday was a rebirth of sorts; a painful release of the old, and an uncertain step into the new.

Looking back at this photo, I realize how much I’ve grown since then. Not in spite of my suffering, but because of it. And because of my daily meditation practice that pushes me into a more positive space.

I originally posted this photo on Instagram with the caption: Love is a gift of one’s inner most soul to another so both can be whole. – Buddha. Here’s to a future of fearless gift giving.

To learn more about meditation, click here.

a staycation saves the day at W hotel

praia vermelha in rio de janeiro

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: The Break Up

Everyone who has been in a relationship knows the terror when you hear the phrase, “can we talk?”. You’re never sure what lies on the other side of those words. So when a boyfriend asked to meet me one Sunday night to talk, it felt ominous. Sitting across from him in a small cafe in Botafogo, the casual banter didn’t last long as it was evident something weighed on him.

He broke up with me, citing various reasons, much of which I didn’t absorb, too shellshocked to understand what was happening. I honed in on his excuse of focusing on his business, which seemed lame and legitimate at the same time. I guess when someone is breaking up with you, it’s never what you want to hear. This wasn’t the first time someone had broken up with me, but the pain was just as fierce.

Met with the shock of the news, I fought back tears. Not wanting to be like one of those dramatic women you see in the novelas that screams and throws things at her man, I tried to keep myself calm, but the tears came dripping down anyway. As I tried to wipe my face with those damn Brazilian napkins that are more like wax paper, I excused myself from the table to find solace in the real tissue in the bathroom. Sobbing into scraps of toilet paper, I quickly gained composure and returned to the table.

He looked defeated. I didn’t speak. And so it was the way we ended our talk. We walked together in silence to the metro, where we rode to the end of the line in Ipanema. He went one way, I went the other, neither of us looking each other in the eye.

Soothing my sorrows the day after, I decided to go to my safe space – the ocean. I left my hotel distraught, with no real plan in mind, other than to push pause on my vacation and absorb what had happened the night before.

The beach, nearly empty since it was a Monday, was the perfect respite. Waves lulled me to sleep as the hum of fishing boats buzzed in the distance. I eventually awoke to a couple taking wedding photos. Are you fucking kidding me? This was the last thing I wanted to see after having my heart ripped out the night before.

I laughed at God’s joke. As the bride and groom traded out props (a sign, a champagne bottle, flowers), I sipped on my Heineken and studied their interaction. He looked visibly uncomfortable; she looked determined. As much as I was familiar with all of the anecdotes from miserable married friends and statistics about single women being happier than married women, I had to wonder, “Would I ever find a man who would do something this ludicrous just to see me happy?”. As they came over and set down the champagne bottle, I gave them a nod with my beer and uttered a congratulatory “Parabéns”. She gave a giddy “obrigada”, and then I rolled over and turned my focus to the sea.

The young couple eventually wandered off, hand in hand, not knowing that I had snapped a few of my own photos of their shoot. I don’t know why I did. Lying on the sand looking at the waves, I noticed a doll head bobbing in the water. As it rolled up on to the sand, it stopped a few feet from me and we made eye contact. I burst out in tears. The flood gates had opened.

Staring at the doll head through swollen eyes, all I could think of was the scene from Clash of the Titans when Thetis’ head rolls to the ground and utters some sort of curse on the marrying couple. I stared back stunned. I felt just like this doll head – separated from my body, torn from my love, strewn from the wreckage.

Back at my hotel, shellshocked from the previous 24 hours’ events, I fell onto my bed and cried some more. With barely enough energy to eat, I uploaded the doll head photo to Instagram, giving it a blue filter. I captioned the photo “Blue Monday”. Just like the song, my mood, my broken heart.

Learn more about how to have a healthy relationship wherever your travels may take you: https://blog.sivanaspirit.com/lv-sc-golden-relationship-rules/

breaking up is hard to do