I remembered the first morning in Jeju. It was just like the other day. As sunlight from the wide window knocked on my eyes, after a few pleasant stretches, I got out of my bed and walked straight to the yard to hang my blanket on the clothesline. It reminds me of my childhood Hanok house in my hometown. Both homes are open to the outside and blend into the natural world outside. Mother Nature flows through the house and lets us feel the seasons inside as well as out. Well, of course, nature is not always romantic and ideal every single moment. Sometimes, it can be scary. Endless nights of fierce winds that seem to never end, bugs that leave me no clue how they could get inside, and driving rain can make an uncomfortable tension. If you look closely, tension and discomfort can show different aspects of nature if we pay attention to the world around us every day. Nature reveals itself to us in ideal and scary moments. Nature is an awesome balance of fear and joy in harmony. Whenever I fully recognized the natural balance, I felt confident that I was balanced in my life as well. As I spent more time to appreciate nature, I could have more time to reflect on myself. Finding balance is a slow and inefficient process, but the experience gave me more assurance that I am making the right decisions. My old friend said, “We can appreciate our life much more with the appreciation that we are alive and breathing.” We don’t appreciate the simple things in life when we are comfortable and in control with our modern conveniences that make life easy. We have the ability to manipulate our time and physical space in the modern world. The modern world provides strong physical and symbolic walls meant to divide time and space making it almost impossible for people to experience moments in harmony with nature. I want to talk about boundaries. The Hanok door is covered with paper, called “hanji” in Korea, which is thin and light. I wish my life could be like that with thin and light boundaries allowing the natural world outside to pass through and mix with the world inside. I hope I can persevere in a world where inefficiency, futility, worthlessness, or surpluses exist, neither here nor there. Some people said, that nature is not as harmonious as it seems. And that’s the fact. Nature is unpredictable. Suddenly, it starts to rain, and after a few seconds, the rain stops. Sometimes seeds inside the earth fail to grow.
So you might feel the ideas too heavy and want a change to a lighter mood. I will finish with words of comfort.
Everything will be okay. Human beings share the same feelings and want the same things. There is nothing wrong. “Wrong” is just a word that was created to deny something humane. But if everything is going pretty much as planned or makes perfect sense, you should have slight doubts about it. Let’s try to live with the natural order of universe rather than trying to force our own personal order in life. Soon, you will learn the universe works according to laws that are not illogical if you are open to the “big picture” of life experience. Lastly, I always say this to others and also to myself. ‘It is okay to let things happen. And it is totally fine to take the flow of Mother Nature. Everything will be okay. That’s just the natural flow of Mother Nature.’
Kuk hee Kim
She was born in Jangheung, Jeollanam-do and live between Seoul and Jeju. She is interested in excavating stories and concerning her routine of her job and life. At times, she writes. But most of the time she is searching for fun. Now a days, she is working on installation or many kinds of visual art with media. She is running “book+room seosara”, curating bookstore and art residency, and “Paper Company”, art agency and part of her art work, with her husband Yoon Lee.