Dumpling Sister's Thoughts
1.4.2008 Picture (Chinese Version)
“Do you know how to find a Kim in a nation where everyone’s last name is all Kims?” A friend of friend asked me that, apparently was giving me a brain teaser.
I made the gesture signaling him that I didn’t know. At the mean time I was struggling between trying to eat the pie and analyzing his question, but luckily he didn’t wait too long for my response.
“I have a picture of him, so I went to the place that I last saw him to find him, “the friend revealed his secret with a big grin on his face. We were sitting by the corner of the restaurant and the lights were dim, but somehow his smile was bright in comparison. The time was near the middle of the night.
“Whoa, that was clever. So did you find the person?” I asked swiftly.
“Unfortunately Mr. Kim passed away about two years ago,” the friend said with a low tone, but quickly picked up and continued, “you know, I went to the place where Mr. Kim lived. The small store in the photo has being transformed reconstructed to be a bigger retail store, but it was being in charge by the same person. The lady there, when I asked her about Mr. Kim, she was thrilled to tell me that the store in the photo was before-look of the now retail store, and she did know Mr. Kim. However, due to illness Mr. Kim has passed away a few years ago.”
So that was the story. The friend went to South Korea during the Korean War, so he was a bit compelled to go visit Korea again and perhaps visit the old friend in the photo. However, he was a few years late. He didn’t sound sad, however, because he did try to find Mr. Kim after all.
The friend has carried out the promise he made years ago to Mr. Kim. When I heard about this from him, I immediately liked the story. It reminded me how pure and sincere the relationship can be between people, like the way gentlemen would treat each other, pure like water.
Speaking of pictures, I have viewed countless pictures and I always have a wonder about them. On one hand pictures capture the moment of the time so later it would be possible for people to recall and remember; however, on the other hand, it is very inviting to get lost in memories when viewing them. Suddenly it makes realizing the presence of time difficult to accept for the individual, since one is often lost in time and in memory, even though the time and the place have changed greatly.
Similarly, letters also give me that kind of wonder and impression.
Few weeks ago I decided to clean up my old email box. I started from the most recent and worked my way back. It felt good to delete stuff that no longer has any value, but of course there were emails that I choose to read at a later time. I deleted a bunch of online receipts and replies I got from other people. I kept hitting the delete key and deleted pages of emails. Suddenly a year worth of email vanished, then two years worth of emails vanished. When I started to realize that, years of emails have already been cleaned out through the clicks of the mouse. When I read the emails from years ago, it was a weird feeling and it made me uneasy. Even though the time when I wrote the email and the present were only a few years apart, but the feelings I was feeling for both counts were like day to night in comparison. I felt like I was having a one-way conversation when I read the emails. I felt like I was travelling to the past, very alone.
It was quite dreadful, actually. I can’t believe the days that couldn’t be seen nor counted passed by so quickly that suddenly it is at the brink of the year 2008.
The passing of time travels in speed of light and I had the song by Cher in mind, “if I can turn back time.”
If I can turn back time, which would mean the tsunami would hit the shore again, 911 would take place again, Dot Com would fall again, Steve Irwin would get stung again, and Princess Di would get crashed again. The truth would be, turning back time would mean bringing back all the natural and human tragedies again. I know that all too well, but however if I could really turn back time to when the photo was taken; wouldn’t that be like the slogan from the Master Cards, the breathtaking “priceless”?
Who can tell me?