Sorting through these pictures from Dublin and Venice,

anticipating the next more and more,

I received an email

from a friend

who had just married in Seoul.

And I was not there.

His pictures went like a thief

into my heart

and stole the anticipation.

They left me conflicted

and I remembered

that was Korea for all those years.

It was conflict of emotion, a bitter, beautiful conflict

between head and heart, heart and home,

my best friends’ wedding I couldn’t attend,

the joy on their faces, their bated breath as

they whisper into each other’s ear,

those toothy grins,

my conspicuous absence.

He couldn’t attend my wedding

for the same reason,

but being Romantics,

we both understood.

Perhaps it was better that way,

fodder for a future story.

And yet,

in the perfect focus of adulthood,

I sadly smile

thumbing through these pictures

of their perfect day,

and stories are the furthest thing

from my mind.

I just husband

this wonderfully complex


for this lonely hour

of darkest morning;




towards Seoul



like a

supple tree





By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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