An unseen force pushes me back, and I am out of my familiar surroundings. I reapplied oil to each of my joints that had not been moved for a while, and I heard a dull creaking sound. When I had stopped, I finally started to move. How in the world had I been breathing before? Is it the early summer sun that makes it so bright outside the miniature garden? Or is it because of all the possibilities that appear one after another in front of my eyes?
Either way, I am receiving unexpected stimuli in the blink of an eye, so much so that I am tempted to abandon my expectations about everything. Whenever I am put in a situation like this, I really, really think that I should stop resisting. I am totally out of breath, beyond sighing. This is not a simple journey. Yes, it is a discipline.
For better or worse, I am alone again. For someone who spends so much of her life walking and thinking, that means more meaningful time. I rebuild the foundations of my life, tracing the contours of the world in every detail. An abundance of loneliness is an important component of my happiness. As I look up at the sky, breathing in the still modest heat of the open air, even the clouds are beginning to take on the shape of summer.
While I spend my days in this way, when night falls, I choose a random partner and walk down the road talking. The night in the mountains is a brief respite. With each step forward, the tension in my body is released. Each time I pick up a fresh piece of value, I know that whatever happens, it can’t be all wrong. Perhaps I have chosen the right season to begin my journey. Even if I wanted to be sentimental, the cicadas chirp in response to the heat in the morning, bringing summer with them, even if I don’t want it.
With a slight rain-induced headache inside, I made some important decisions. Undoubtedly, I have faced a series of problems over the past few years that my past self has entrusted to me in the present. I would be lying if I said that I was not the least bit upset. It would also be a lie to say that I have solved everything.
Nevertheless, from the moment I decided that I was not going to fool around anymore, a tailwind began to blow from somewhere. A well-known hero, known to everyone in this country, has been fighting for a long time with only love and courage as his friends. Perhaps that is the truth. In the process of expanding my world, there are still an infinite number of things I need to know.
When I think about the conceptual “beautiful end,” it is a curious thing: the more I pursue the idea of beauty, the more it diverges from reality. Also, being indigenous to a particular place may have an aspect of picking up information attached to that place, down to the smallest detail, like noise.
One of the facts I have to admit is that my filtering function is surely biased from certain angles. I may aspire to increase the transparency of things, but there are those who do not want that, regardless of the outcome. Then, inevitably, at least for the present, those who are in a lighter position should step aside.
Even if that is the case, this period of introspection has had a profound effect on my foundation. I hesitated many times in the chaotic swell, and that is why it was a precious time to stop by my hometown. In the end, everything will be okay. Once I have packed my big resolve into a small package, I will go on again. A little further. Farther and farther.
Standing between spring and summer, I am pressured by the breath of fresh green. My ego is forever being invaded by the flow of the atmosphere, and it is enormous to resist it. So, I meekly listen to the rustling of the trees and sink my consciousness into the conversation created by the overlapping and rubbing of the fresh leaves. Then, right and wrong dissolve into the air, and I receive only the powerful truth. All is known only to God. The wind that modestly caressed my cheeks was enough to tell me this.
I have accumulated a steady stream of accomplishments, though at such a rate that the casual observer can detect no change. I can still remember the countless times I have been irritated in the process. That is why my response always turns into conviction. The reason I do not let go of the answers I get is because their source is tied to my intuition. The accumulation of living this moment to the fullest is what makes me who I am. And perhaps people call that feeling confidence.
No matter how hard I try to shake it off, a vague, lukewarm feeling clings to me and won’t let go. Concentration is sluggish as if a haze has settled over your thoughts. It would be a relief if I could just dismiss it as such a time of year, but when was the last time I looked up at a cloudless blue sky?
Looking at the big picture, I am sure that I have spent the past several years under cloudy skies. I have been pondering the same thing over and over again and have yet to come to a conclusion on even a few items. For example, contemplating the concept of self-disclosure has reaffirmed for me that I am a cunning adult. It is easy to simply list and fit the material into some sort of template that others will agree with and then toss it over the wall. I am aware that this is a kind of escapism, but I do not have the energy to look for a way to stop it. And I know that the only way out is in a new environment.
It’s time, really, for everything. So now I just wait for the moment, as I always do. It’s like a silkworm waiting to hatch. I am in a vague and delicate cocoon right now, but I dream that one day I will be able to see the light of day.
The spring sunlight wakes me up and I walk along, looking at the yellow flowers stretching their backs to the sky. It is the best part of the season when I am allowed to walk, leaving my consciousness in the lukewarm air. The meaning of my name comes from these flowers. I feel that the stubbornness of the flower, which does not break easily when stepped on, and the selfishness of the flower, which puts down roots by the side of the road and lives with a clear face without being asked to do so, certainly have something in common with my own self.
In my self-assessment, I have become much stronger than before. I had never doubted that I had become so, at least at an accelerated pace over the past few years, but I dared to pause and reconsider my origins. I was fortunate enough to meet again with old acquaintances, and I suddenly wanted to know how it was that I came to have the reputation of “You have always been the same.” I will formulate a hypothesis as follows. Although there have been some changes in myself, it is probably the environment surrounding me that has changed significantly.
When I think about it, in the course of my own insignificant history, my core argument has always remained unchanged. In the past, I must have even spent my days feeling frustrated because I could not bend it so much, but now I have a sense that I am being pandered to by the times. It’s a strange thing, but that’s OK. In any case, there is only one option, and that is to verify whether it is true or not.
I can no longer turn a blind eye to the situation keeping me in the small garden. Urged on by a higher power, I finally and quietly began to prepare for my departure. If I was the one who constructed this environment, I was also the one who threw my body into it. Soaked in formalin, the bubbles I exhaled drifted and surfaced in the bottle, breaking grotesquely. Whenever I am presented with a task that strikes at the lazy human habit of wanting to take the easy way out, my back always beads with sickening perspiration. But as usual, I am not allowed to resist.
While confronting my own issues, I observe with a somewhat cool-headed gaze the phenomena that erupt here and there, just as if I am on the verge of a comeback. I know I am in a cunning position, but I do not know how to escape from here. Even when it comes to myself, I lack a sense of ownership, so it is even more so for others. I wonder how long my days of fluttering like a butterfly and quietly dodging bombings will last.
The memories associated with cherry blossoms change their aspect with each passing year. I know it sounds absurd, but this year, it is as if I am connected to a parallel universe. The glittering electric lights illuminate the fleeting night, and the hustle and bustle of the festival make me feel dizzy. I bite into a piece of candy dipped in sugar, which is as sweet as a narcotic, and the back of my head goes numb. It is a spring night when everything seems to be forgotten, but when I concentrate my nerves and smell the scent, the presence of winter is still strong.
Perhaps it is my innate nature, but I really love things that cannot be named. It is human nature to want to categorize something, but there are countless phenomena that lose their luster the moment we throw them into a frame that someone else has defined. A relationship with someone, or a certain night, should be allowed to exist as it is.
Therefore, when I have a premonition of an untapped attraction, I dare not do anything about it. One will surely increase its depth by knowing the value of existence with potential and not touching the object. In this way, the philosophy piled up in detail becomes a delicate veil that envelops me. Knowing something is often like a sin. With each breath we take, we sin more and more, and eventually, we can redeem ourselves for the number of taboos we have committed. It is surely a responsibility imposed on “adults” and at the same time, the choice is connected to freedom.
Even breaking existing values has new methods available to me and I am fed up. There is surely no such thing as an average individual in all values. I think I have finally obtained my ticket, which is distributed in the order of those who have realized this fact. Holding that small piece of paper in my hand, I felt as if I were wearing an amulet. Still, I sometimes wonder how on earth I got here. Especially these days, the more I try to control things, the less I get what I want. On the other hand, the moment I let go of my attachment, I can easily acquire something I never wished for, so I really don’t know.
In the end, everything is just the way it is. If this is the case, what I should keep in mind is my own laziness and arrogance. Opportunities are always given only to those who have the skill to seize them. If I am unwilling to stand still, I must keep running and slow down my speed. I laugh through my nose and bluster out; Bring it on, huh? No matter what happens, I will just do my mission with all my might.
The climax of the beloved season has passed. The air is still clear, and I feel as if I could still be saved. For those who love solitude, winter sometimes means salvation itself. The cold seems to gain in beauty with each repetition, adding a little change to the season.
It is not only the season that changes. We speak of “transitional periods,” a concept that is difficult to define – but we must continue to change one way or another. The status quo from the inside is simply a decline from the outside. So we must keep the same axis and eliminate only the waste. It may seem like a big deal only at first, but like all tasks, once you get used to it, it will be no big deal at all. Today, the human race as a whole is in need of a renewal of its sense of values. Even so, the future is as good as promised as long as we do not close our clairvoyant eyes to grasp the essence.
I wander around, stepping on the still snowy ground, looking for a way to fill the hole that remains in my heart. I know in my head that everything can only be resolved with the passage of time. However, the mission that I have taken on as a creature with emotions troublesomely chips away at my rationality. My five senses cry out for her absence, and tears fall at my feet as I stare drooping. I know. The sadness of losing someone is proportional to the amount of love you have for them. I know it. I don’t have to force myself to forget. Through this experience, I can come to understand the pain of others again. So, It’s okay. I try to inspire myself in every way I can think of, but my desolate thoughts only grow lonelier. I am so disgusted with myself for being so foolish and weak.
However, it would be wrong to require concentration in this situation. So, I gathered up shells and stardust in my daydream world and made an awkwardly shaped balance. On one plate, I put my sorrow of facing reality, and on the other, my fear of losing even this memory. I sat down in front of the balance, which was balanced as if by design, and rested my chin on my knees, watching it sway with a lingering aftertaste. Suddenly, I thought in my foggy mind that it was good that the sun and the moon were each here. The sunlight must be too bright and too early to walk under it. As long as I am allowed, at least for now, I would like to be soothed by the paleness of moonlight.
I surrendered my mental peace to the sacred cold and gazed blankly at the falling snow. The dawn-like start of a new year helped to lighten the gloom and sinking feeling a bit. The sun rises and sets, no matter what foolish mortals bemoan. I am utterly disgusted by my own selfishness to be beaten or saved by immutable truths. I hope that the accumulation of small sins that I may have unknowingly accumulated will flow away with the melting of the snow when spring arrives.
As if in inverse proportion to the whiteness of the snow, the tips of my fingers and nose turn bright red. However, every time winter comes, I think about it. As a person born in this land, I cannot give in to this environment. Converting my concentration, which resembles a sharp icicle, into a sword, and using my transparent wings, which I don’t know when I acquired them, as a shield, I took some more tests without learning my lesson. Truly, when in the world did I participate in this endless struggle? Slash after slash, the next enemy would appear, leaving no time for depression or even exhaustion. And unbelievably, the form of the enemy standing in front of me always looks exactly like my own. And with a sneer in her eyes, she tells me: “I know best how much you hate to lose.”
On a day that could rightly be called the middle of winter, I cut off my hair, which had reached the length I had set out to achieve. After completing the formalities of presenting it to someone I didn’t know, I looked at myself in the mirror. And I couldn’t help but laugh because I looked so much like I did just 15 years ago. I know that I am who I am…, but still.
It wasn’t the only thing that made me laugh. The day I left home early in the morning, fidgeting a bit with my head, which was lighter than it had been in a long time, and fearing that I was at the mercy of a white phantom. In order to kill the time I had, I unfolded a paperback book under the delicate winter sunlight and began to read. As I followed the words with my eyes, I brushed my hair, which was now hanging down in my face thanks to its shortening, and brushed it over my ears, and I was surprised at my own action. On an empty winter morning, I spent time alone in my classroom with a book on my lap, just as I do now. And that was also exactly 15 years ago.
I unintentionally hid the smile that comes to my mouth in dismay with the book in my hand. People do not change so easily. Even though I know this, the moment I realize it is always filled with an awakening mystery.