“Life is the flower for which love is the honey.” –Victor Hugo
All these photos were taken during my trip to South Korea early this week. Although I went there not for sightseeing but to comfort my friend, I ended up going to so many places that not many tourists get to see (in fact most of the places I’d been to had zero tourists! Except for me.)
I am glad I had time to take photos of the flowers I had seen. Flowers are my favorite subject for photography. Hope you like them.
After 14 years, she finally saw him again. He was waiting for her at the airport. They saw each other at the same time. They hugged and laughed, incredulous at seeing each other again after that quick goodbye at an airport in China like a lifetime ago.
For the next three days, they went out to a number of places, different cities, exploring like they were racing against time.
But the truth is, they really were — they are — racing against time.
And as they drove past Surisan Mountain on her last day in the country, she thought to herself, “Goodbye, Surisan,” because she knew her voice would break if she said it out loud. But then she heard his voice as he said, “Goodbye, mountain,” like he knew exactly what she was thinking (perhaps he did.) And that was all it took to make the tears fall, and she looked away, trying not to let him see as she wiped the tears away.
They had said goodbye so many times before.
But this was different.
A few minutes before landing in Incheon
Banwol Lake, Gunpo
Sanbon Catholic Church, Gunpo
Blue and white and green — photos taken in Chomakgol Ecopark
“..Death tears away the veil from all our secrets, our shifty dodges and intrigues.” – Dostoevsky, Mr. Prohartchin
Taiwushan Cemetery, Kinmen, Taiwan
Death can’t reveal all of our secrets, because some of them we carry to our graves. But death can literally reveal what we keep hidden underneath our clothes; when we die (if our bodies are intact) then our bodies become mere objects seen quite objectively by doctors, nurses and embalmers, all strangers to our bodies. But of course one can rationalize this and say, “Who cares? The dead don’t.”
Perhaps people will say I overthink things when I say this, but I feel nothing but compassion for sick people in hospitals and how their bodies become merely like an object that the healthy can just point to or talk about as if it is lifeless. I felt this the first time I saw my mother being given a sponge bath by my sister. I felt this as I stood next to my mother’s bed as she lay there in pain, while the nurses were changing her clothes. I witnessed the indignity of aging, and it made me feel so so sorry for us, human beings.
Hopefully one day we won’t have to deal with incontinence, hip fractures, loss of mobility, etc. and just go quietly with dignity intact.
It is a great mystery that though the human heart longs for Truth, in which alone it finds liberation and delight, the first reaction of human beings to Truth is one of hostility and fear! -Anthony de Mello