1. 친구들 [friends] : The time the 'I could smile... the 'I' saw me smiling in the picture. Feel awkward. Where are they now? Do I miss them or I'm just stuck in the time I can remember? We are getting old and time flies... something that was important is not important anymore. But, I still dream about it.
4. 공허 [empty] : I feel so empty in the city. I don't feel like I can go back to the past. I don't even remember who I was. I only remember the color of my emotion when I was young. The lights filled up my eyes and I thought I could see the world. I'm recognizing that the world I imagined doesn't exist anymore.
7. 조명 [illumination] : One day, I was on the way back home. I saw the orange streetlight on the hill. I thought it is beautiful.
I've been tried to make others shine through my traveling. I hoped it would make me shine like the light on the hill. However, my face behind the artificial lighting was shaded day by day as I shone them.
10. 자살 [suicide] : For a stranger, losing home is painful. I'm dreaming of me committing suicide to be free from the chain I have made.
Even small breathes are excruciating to me,
What binds me like this? I'd rather be free by cutting the crimson pulse circulating my body. A word and a word again, I’d even cut myself to be comforted.
I can't see, I can't hear. Barren tears burn me in my heart.
12. 부모님 [mom & dad] : My parent don't smile as often as they did in Seoul. I see the picture when I miss their smile. I see their awkward smile from the picture. Sometimes it is very hurting. No one will understand this.
15. 순환선 [a circular railway] : I took a train circling in the city. My journey to my home looks like the train circling without destination. I can stop and make people come in or out. They all leave on their own stops. I envy them, but I know I can't be out of the train because I'm addicted to being a stranger.
18. 수정과 [sujeonggwa - persimmon punch] : Bittersweet, that is the taste of my home. I often eat the same food here in the U.S. Strangely, it tastes slightly different. Why??
21. 밤 [night] : Who are you smiling at? Don't be awkward. You don't have to be someone in the night of the city. The lonely lights on the streets only can comport each other. They will touch your abandoned heart.
24. 싸움 [fighting] : My fight in the American society as an immigrant. I feel like I'm fighting with a giant who wants to kick me out of the boxing ring or knock me out. I'm still standing on the ring. But, I'm losing my reasons to fight... I want to make this lonely fight.
27. 꿈 [dream] :
The road not taken:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost
I still believe my dream will come true in this land. I cannot live without it.
2. 망각 [oblivion] : I always wanted to leave my hometown. I hated my life in there. Nothing was special I wanted to see the world. I wanted to meet the people. I see the small world and meet the people in there. But, I don't see me, the person I could see in the past. I don't even know who I am. Where I am going?
5. 전환점의 부재 [lost transition] : I should have a transition between my life in Korea and the U.S. I was rotten with homesick and my loneliness fed me for my new life in America. I don't feel loneliness anymore, I don't miss my home anymore. But, I feel like I became a monster.
8. 첫사랑 [unfulfilled love] : Even though I truly miss her so much, I met her once so far, and once only it may ever be. I will probably never forget her for the rest of my life. I must go on in life trying to find her. -Pi, Chun Deuk 'Cause and Occasion'-
11. 바람 [wind blowing] : The wind blows like sad blowing on the empty desert. I smell the wind from my home. The wind from my mother's bosom. The wind blows to her womb. At the end of my wanderings, I will see the ocean. I will swim in the water like a baby floats in the amniotic fluid.
13. 미국 [America on my mind] :
August 27, 2001 MONDAY
I’m going to the America, my new home. The airplane took off with the flight announcement. The stewardess asked me what to drink. I answered ‘cola’ three times, I drank ‘sprite’. Dad told me the Americans call it coke, c-o-k-e, not cola. Hm... the Americans have bigger cans of cola.
16. 8월의 크리스마스 [Christmas in August] :
I found the old dvd from my garage. It was the movie made me to study filmmaking. I don't have the same taste on this film anymore. But, the image in the film takes me home and makes me rest.
19. 책가방 [backpack] :
My backpack was always heavy even I was a little child. In my backpack, there was a bunch of knowledge I would forget in a short time like people don't remember most math formulas after their school years. I hated my backpack and the system I had to obey from my home.
22. 워크!맨 [walk!man] : I tried to find myself in the city. The only shape I could find was my shadow. Without my will, it was scattered by the people moving fast. The city didn't even allow me to keep my shape. I’m fast forwarding by them. It is pathetic.
25. 극도로 민감한 [terribly sensitive] : Don't touch me. I'm very sensitive. I have nothing you can eat from my body. Just leave me alone, I'm still in a pain.
28. 수희 [Suhee] : the only place I can make myself at home. I rest in her eyes and I see the home I lost in her mind. My lonely wandering days can be over through the marriage...?
30. 집 [home] : Does a home really exist? What I have drawn on my white canvas through my life? I don't know what I had in the past. However, I'm understanding what I want to draw in my canvas for my home. I 'm still in a journey and I know it won't be finished soon. But, it's ok. I will accept it.
3. 할아버지 [grandfather] : I was sitting with my grandfather. He didn't say anything and looked at the murmuring stream for a while. I worried if he ask about his son(my father) because I also felt guilty after we moved to the U.S. He left alone by himself... Grandfather patted my hand softly. We just kept seeing the flowing water.
6. 자아의 매춘 [prostitution of conscience] : The island for the strangers. I belonged to the two different worlds. I had to be one of them for surviving. I'm smiling in the picture. I remember I was proud of being a traveler at that time. I thought my traveling will be ended at somewhere in the future. But, I am still wandering alone.
9. 돌아가는길 [the way back home] : The way back home with my hopeless dream. I look back the road I was driving. I know I can't go back to my home again. I only see it in the mirror on my mind.
11. 고장난 시계 [broken clock] : There is a longtime between the place I'm standing and my home I will never reach. So, I break the clock and my time is stopped. The time feeds me, at the same time, it unshapes my figure.
14. 이민자들의 나라 [a nation of immigrants] :
First day in the U.S. Drizzling and cloudy.
Instead of fluttering to the new world,
I felt afraid because of its strangeness. Someone said, "make yourself at home" I thought "Could I?" I am still trying.
17. 고시원 [capsule studio] : From the time I was stopping at the station, the station gave me a tiny place to stay. 0.000817 acre was the only space I can put my body. But, it was the only place I could be free from the chain. In that 0.000817 acre, I traveled to the universe. I could make myself at home while I was stopping.
20. 걸리지않는 전화 [phone not making a call] : A small package of my precious memories. Like the Antenna without signal on the tiny phone screen, I'm losing my relations to the people I missed from my home. Are we disconnected? Can I talk to you again if I pay the balance I haven't paid?
23. 내 마음의 다리 [the bridge on my mind] : The bridge collapsed. I recognized I cannot go back to the past when I came back to San Francisco again because my illusions of home fell down to the real world.
26. 세포분열 [cell division] : How many 'I's are struggling inside of me? I thought I know who I am. I was wrong. I don't understand several of 'I's. It won'tbe stopped until I arrive the destination.
29. 티거 [Tigger: fetus name] : the baby sleeps in the womb. Can I be a good father during this journey? I want to be home to my kids even I don'y have my own one in my mind. The baby sleeps comfortably. It touches my heart. Maybe we could make a home together.