I usually check back of my head whenever I see the mirror due to either my body gets weaker or I get older. My daily work is to see whether how much hair was removed and see the crown of my head.
My face had more wrinkles. Thin nasolabial folds get deeper. More wrinkles appear around the eyes that used to be bright.
My parents notice everything. Five years have passed since I left my hometown and started to live in the other area. I used to come back to Korea every vacation. My mother always exclaim at the airport: “Why do you look so old. You look so old.” As usual, people don’t find the difference in the daily routines, yet someone who meets up for a long time notices the difference.
When I look at my mother, I can see the trace of life in her face. I was familiar with the view in the airport bus as if past time is dream.
When I go back to home, I was so relaxed by losing tension and fall into sleep shortly after lying on the bed. My hometown is so warm and bed is so comfortable.
Falling in deep sleep, sound comes out of the kitchen “Wake up and have meal.”
Waking up, it was at 7:00 p.m. It’s time for my father to come back home.
Tens of thousands of dishes set on the table delight me. When I live alone, there were scramble egg, toast, Panini and a loaf of wheat. On the contrary, refreshing vegetable, boiling Kimchijjigae and warm rice were served here.
I missed this taste and I was so warmhearted as I share talks with four family members around the table we have never done so far. While having the meal, my father said:
“You’ve gotten older.”
I said plainly “I know. I get older as time goes by.” It saddened me, because I could observe that my parents were older than before. It was a little sorrowful that I could not be with them for the time being. I went abroad for study due to my desire, yet the world goes as it is. If I get one, I must give up another. I abandoned the environment for acquiring environment.
It is not easy to live in the foreign country, not my homeland, where it takes ten hours on plane. I should endure discrimination as there is a language barrier, culture, weather and environment are totally different and even I am a foreigner. How comfortable I arrive at my country. I have my home, family, people and rice. A meal table, hoping that my overseas life will soon be ended and this happiness will continue.
After finishing the meal, we washed dish and went out for walk around the village. My parents were walking arm in arm and thought myself that it is good to see them and family is better, but suddenly I saw back of their heads. They lost their heads a lot and it’s disheartening that time flies so fast.
Tracing them back, I looked up the night sky. Beautiful but solitary night.
Cozy time when my whole body was totally relaxed flew fast. I headed to the Incheon International Airport again, bid farewell to my mother before going on to the procedure and went to the gate.
Board the plane.
Welcome aboard to the British Airways. This plane is bound for London Heathrow..
I thought the land getting far away, looking at the window.
“It’s good to have a place to go back.”
Daddy, velvet, print, 140 x 200cm, 2019.