It is a scorching hot season where ice cubes melt away in a cup of water on the dining table just as ice burgs melt down in the Antarctic. We spend longer time at home feeling the heat from within and outside due to the COVID-19 pandemic in combination with the following restrictions, nosediving sales and soaring frustrations. We burn to a crisp inside due to growing concerns with the streets baking in the heat of summer. Angry to the point of boiling over, we feel the burn of this sizzling heat, only left exhausted.
I came across Kang Shin-ae’s “Moon of Summer” in a book of poetry published last winter. Interestingly, it provides a realistic portray of the heat that overwhelms our soul. Just as the title says, it describes a nighttime backdrop where the author is in the middle of a sweating city. The yellowish glow of the moon may have captured the attention of hers, reminding her of German artist Joseph Beuys’ poem “Capri Battery” with a lemon stuck in a yellow light bulb as if the lemon powered the bulb. Inspired by Beuys’ piece, the author likens herself to a melty light bulb. If connected to the energy source of the moon, the light can come back on. Under a ray of hope, the author listens to the voice from the moon, saying, “Endure sorrowful days without mishap.”
Even if things look intolerable, we have no option but to hang in. Where could we recharge a melty and exhausted soul? We only stay patient in a boringly long summer night in absence of mishap.