Thursday, January 31, 2008

Over the Hills and Far Away

Driving around the city a few nights ago, I realized something I missed about my old country life in Korea. There was a time when I lived in a small farming village. Behind my apartment was a mountain I would traverse to get to my place of work. At dusk, the sun would gently sink into the rice paddies, nourishing the earth with its milky light. And then it would grow dark. Really dark. The gentle woods of the mountain took on the gnarled hedges of an ancient labyrinth. At first it felt like Mr. Hyde had cast a spell--I wonder why I just didn't take the bus. But in time I grew to trust the moonlight, and when the clouds came out, I put my faith in the mountain itself. I knew it would never betray my footsteps. Here in New York, I'm sure I've never felt quite as secure and sure-footed on the city's well-lit streets and concrete pavements, where all the cops stand guard to protect against the forces of darkness. Only in the country does the darkness empower.

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