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[Opinion] Green Memory

Posted June. 07, 2005 06:30,   


Two years ago this season, around the time when the mountains and trees were all green, I underwent surgery. I received a cut several inches long on my abdomen and some internal parts were removed. After I came around from general anesthesia, I was overtaken by unbearable pain. It felt like every single cell of my body rebelled against me. I was hardly able to breathe, and the cut on my abdomen, my nose with tubes inserted, and my back hurt severely. All of my senses became so acute that I couldn’t endure even dim light, faint sound or slight smell and naturally couldn’t sleep. When I tried to get some sleep by taking painkillers, “little devil of metal and ceramic” appeared to laugh at me as I was fighting pain.

The pain surged into me was red like rusted iron. My internal vital power fought against the red killer. Somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness, I did my utmost to remember the mountains and trees. Then the vision of my mind would start to be filled with green, and peace finally rested inside me instead of pain. Before long, however, the red chaos tenaciously erased the green peace, and the terrible pain returned. This war continued for a while.

As the green remained longer and longer, my body steadily recovered. On the day when I first went outside again in a wheelchair, how radiant those green leaves were! On the contrary, the square edges and gaudy colors of the streets inflicted as much pain on my eyes as the surgery. As time went by, the acute senses became blunt. Now I am almost “normal” and not much disturbed by average chaos.

However, the green experience in the hospital wing won’t be forgotten. The details are blurry now, like dreams hiding itself deep inside unconsciousness after awakening. However, the message of the green is clear: that more fundamental than human consciousness and conceptions is the vital power, and that it springs from harmony. Therefore disrupting harmony is equivalent to killing lives. I will keep this lesson which I learned from a harsh trial in mind.

Kang Hong-bin, guest editorial writer, Urban Planning Professor of University of Seoul, hbkang@uos.ac.kr