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In the Newsroom

June 19, 2009
Teeing off to the sound of gunfire

Martin Savidge at the “world’s most dangerous golf course.” Photo: Martin Savidge

Danger fits me to a tee.

The U.S. Open is in the news, and so is North Korea. I’ve found a way to blog about both…kind of.

As the gunfire continued behind us, I stared at the distant target through a small pair of binoculars and the U.S. soldier next to me did the same. “It’s farther away than it looks,” he said. His words were punctuated by more shooting, which seemed much closer.

“Whatever you do, don’t go left — that’s a minefield,” the soldier added. My mind raced with possibilities. I was an embedded journalist, a non-combatant, but circumstances now forced me to take sides. At best, I had three, maybe four shots at success…but the first one would matter most. I turned to the soldier and asked, “What would you use?” He stared me straight in the eyes and without skipping a beat said, “A three wood.”

This was Camp Bonifas, a Republic of Korea army post just 13,000 feet outside the Demilitarized Zone that separated North and South Korea. Here, more than a million soldiers stare daily across at one another, poised to resume the war that never officially ended. It’s the reason why past American presidents who have come here have called it the “most dangerous place on earth.” Which is how the “world’s most dangerous golf course” earned its name.

Read more about Martin Savidge’s patrol in the DMZ.

To be honest, it’s not a course at all, but a single 192-yard par-3 located next to the base’s target range — which accounted for the distracting gunfire as I teed off. So to call it a course is a bit of a stretch, but the hazards are real. Beginning with its location on the edge of the DMZ, the trip-wire of Armageddon. Then, along the left side of the fairway, is a real minefield. Attempting to retrieve a ball out of bounds there is unwise. It’s safer to just take the one stroke penalty.

The bunkers on the right side are real as well. If the base were to ever come under attack, soldiers could dive into them for shelter. Back behind the green rises is a guard tower complete with search lights. The green itself is too difficult to maintain naturally, so it was fitted with a sort of cheap outdoor carpet. Instead of wearing chinos and polo shirts, my fellow golfers were decked out in camouflage fatigues.

How’d I do? Well, because of a wrinkle on the green, I three-putted and ended up with a double bogey. Feeling dejected, I decided to drown my sorrow with a dip in the “world’s most dangerous pool.”

– Martin Savidge

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Comments

4 comments

#4

…Not really…

Proof?
I was voted “Quietest”
in all my High School Class.

…A thing “indifferent”…

Paradox?
(…for those who, supposedly,
like to
“hear” themselves “talk”
and yet are “Quiet”?…)
Yes.

“Like to hear myself talk?”
No.

(…nor do I care that others
do not “hear” me…this is why I
write in such “abstract ways”…
if you’re interested you can ponder…
but if not…no time was, misguidedly, spent
with “reading” what was “written”…)

Just working through a few things
in all the Ways that I can
so long as I am intended to be
on this Earth…

#3

Huh? Me thinks The Melancholy Poet likes to hear himself talk.

I remember that golf ball that went askew. “I’ll get it!” A lifetime of remembrances….

#2

Adjustments to the Previous Text: (#1):

“in the middle of a kind of subliminally concious Nowhere or a subconcious Somewhere not yet entirely and adequately explored on any true depth of Subconcious or even Concious Levels fully useful”

“Proportions of the Quantity of Particles of Cosmos Imaginable Within Us and Outside Us Considered As A Whole:”

“(as it has evolved into the Modern Era) when one travels to other inner and outer Regions which (seem to) receive very little of the Supernal Light”

“Vessel of Earth’s Reception by way of ‘allowing in’ the Light of the physical Sun”

“”Surely! the Sun still rises…does it not?…
“with healing in its wings””.–Malachi 4:3 (ESV)

#1

It may say something dreary of Humanity that, after thousands of years of inhabiting this planet we call “home” but really (in Reality) is but as a desolate “Marbled Speck”–beautiful enough in the Heavens to be sure! with her Night black hair pouring ’round the accompanying Moon and Stars–in the middle of a kind of subliminally concious Nowhere or a subconcious Somewhere not yet entirely and adequately explored on any true depth of Subconcious or even Concious Level fully useful to the Proportions of the Quantity of Cosmos Within Us and Outside Us As A Whole: some parts of Evolving Humanity still are not seeing and being seen in the clear Light of Truth at all or it may be that what may have been, once, seen is now no longer seen by many or by even fewer than the remnant of the few who see not themselves nor the many as a mere Level Of Any Class Hierarchical Structure but as–solely! a group of individuals–Humans!– living…existentially, in the vastnesses of a Universe which has never been explored by any Human from Earth (not so far as rests in Common Knowledge, at least)…and yet? words such as
those which title the Main Article, thus: “Teeing off to the sound of gunfire” can still be written as if Humanity came forth upon this planet only in a Primeval Form Of Yesterday…already created and prepared to kill, murder and destroy.
I wonder what kind of gnosis is involved in the Mysteries with which we, every Day and Night, must deal to such degree that the sheer Force of such enduring planetary Mystery upon our Collective Psyche causes such enduring Miseries in our Individual Psyches as, almost continually, produce such Causes (conciously or subconciously or both) as ever (appear to) lead to such Effects that the Words “Teeing off to the sound of gunfire” will be able to be continually written in possible future ages which, although no doubt written with light intent, still–in this age–veil (somewhat) what is the Essence of Ancient Truth (as it has evolved into the Modern Era) when one travels to other inner and outer Regions which (seen to) receive very little of the Supernal Light…the streaming Rays of which are involved in the manifestations of even the visible Celestial Symbol(our Sun) which is present in the Atmosphere for all…but is received (willingly) into the depths of Soul by very few who are able to remain in Modes Of Reception (rainbow-like, within the drops of colorless ’emotional’ waters which fall into ‘colored’ perceptions by the atmosphere and body which is the Vessel of Earth’s Reception by way ‘allowing in’ the Light of the physical Sun…in the same way that rain did previously pour? so may Light stream into us) to the Divine Energies which are involved in the Sun Symbol as a kind of mechanism of Solar Healing bringing about a literal/metaphorical/allegorical Resurrection which raises our Conciousness to the Portion of Light we are able to receive by permeating our Day by way of returning to us our previously (seemingly) absent Conciousness out of the Former Night’s Unconcious State of Sleep returning it into a more sane method of Thinking which is able to transcend and is fully capable of transcending this mundane plane of (seemingly) endless creations of Tombs of Thoughts of Former Years in which apparent Death supplied the Mind with a Transcendent Philosophy and which no prosaic Relgious Perception–as, modernly, known–has yet proven to be able to (manifestly and consistently) remedy by (current understandings of) Orthodox Methodologies.

Surely! the Sun still rises…does it not?…
“with healing in its wings”.

At least, the Potential remains Within…to receive the Healing.

Now? shall we tee off? …in better landscapes?

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