Herbal Medicine and a Korean Statue

Mondays are not my, er, best days.  (You too?!! Twins!) As Kevin says, “We’re mourning the weekend.”  This weekend, being my birthday weekend, was particularly difficult to leave behind.

Saturday Kevin gave me a few hours to myself.  I grasped them with all the strength of a drowning man to a life preserver. Not that I am drowning (except maybe in laundry- yes, definitely drowning in laundry) but I really needed some time alone.  Isn’t my hubby the best?

I headed downtown by taxi – alone and with my camera – with absolutely no plans.  On the way I decided to head to the cathedral to pray and meditate.  I’ve been there several times but always with kids in tow, and so I was giddy with the idea of some solo time in a beautiful gothic church.  (I called Kevin to tell him where I was headed – to the cathedral to pray – and he said, “What? You’re going to the casino to play? Good luck!”  Always a jokester, that guy.)

I directed the taxi drive to pull over, not exactly remembering where the cathedral was, and headed down a side street.  Providence!  I stumbled across something I had been wanting to find here: The Yangnyeongsi Herbal Medicine Market.  I also found the Yangnyeongsi Museum, which was tres cool and to which I will dedicate a whole post soon. 

(Before you start making wisecracks  about what type of “medicinal herbs” I found, I should clarify that most of the herbs actually looked a lot like bundles of sticks. Even I know that’s not what wacky tobaccy looks like.)

After a brief museum tour, I headed to my original destination, Gyesan Cathedral,  where I snapped this photo of my favorite Marian statue.

F 9.0 , 1/4000, ISO 1600

Yes, the sky is really that blue. Quite a difference from the normally bland skyline here.  Yes, the statue is really that simple, and that is precisely why it’s my favorite. Clean lines, Asian features, nothing to distract.  Just pure and simple and a very strong contrast to the gothic style church behind it.  Another thing that I love about this photo is how Mary’s face is somewhat shadowed while the sweet baby Jesus is overexposed… it looks like he is emanating light!  Accidental, but I like it.

Unfortunately my dreams of a quiet prayerful interlude were foiled by possibly the most lavish wedding I have ever attended (wedding crasher!).  I’m pretty sure the mass was being said by the bishop, although it was hard to tell all the way in the back.  After a few awkward moments at the back of the church (I was definitely the only person in jeans… and the only caucasian there as well), I decided to head out and leave them to their sacrament.

Oddly, I felt refreshed by my aimless meandering, even if I was diverted from my goal.  Sometimes it’s nice to have no plans.  It gives me strength to face the Mondays.

Linking up for the first time with Amongst Lovely Things for Manual Mondays (taking a photo in manual mode) and The Real JZ for Marian Mondays.  Huzzah!  Now that’s a Monday I can get behind!


  1. Wow, two linkups with one post – awesome! I love that marian statue too 🙂

  2. Oh, you are brave, Micaela! I hope if/when we ever get to Japan that I will just be able to get into a taxi and wander with my DSLR. That’s a great shot… I too noticed the bright blue sky! Gysean… is that the name of the city?

    • Jiza- you WILL get there. I am praying so hard for you. And you will be brave. It is too short of a time not to explore a little, even though I never feel like I’m doing enough. We live in Daegu, actually. Just the Cathedral is named Gyesan. Thanks for hosting!

  3. That sky is amazing! Sounds like a peaceful day.

  4. I have also noticed that God really blesses those moments I am able to get away, even when I feel like I am too overwhelmed to take time alone. That is a good God.

    • I never ever feel like I deserve time alone. But I am so glad hubby insists from time to time and it never fails to refresh me no matter how short of a time it is.

  5. Thanks for joining us! And thanks for sharing the photo! Gosh, that statue is beautiful; totally serene.

  6. I *love* that statue. What an amazing picture.

  7. What a gorgeous photo. The blue in the sky is just breathtaking. Thank for linking up!

  8. Oh! I’ve been there!!! Seen it!!! Thank you for the memory of it 🙂 I saw your name on the nomination, I’m under the same one (most under deserving) and I am trying to stop in to see all these great bloggers that I have never heard of. Where have I been? Any way, my husband and I were over there when we adopted our son. Someday we plan to take a motherland visit with him. Enjoy your time! God bless!