May is a month of gatherings. We hail meetups joyfully because separation, in contrast, is one of the hardest things to do in our lifetime. As we grow older, we expect to stay cooler when we say goodbye to someone else, which does never happen at all. Do hours of practice make it easier to separate than otherwise? No way. For such reasons, we are willing to fully enjoy meetings but find it hard to accept separation. Somewhere between meetings and breakups lies a deeply felt emotion – you miss someone a lot. The greater distance there is between a meeting and a separation, the more deeply you miss him or her. In this light, you may feel the deepest emotions ever with a sense of absence between this world and the next.
Here is a poet who provides a different perspective to this topic. When Park Nam-soo immigrated to the United States in his 50s, he decided to open a shop. Even while counting changes in his shop overseas, Park’s soul still lives in his home country. He wrote this piece of poetry in homage to Jo Ji-hoon who passed away a long time ago. He put this poetry in a bundle of manuscripts and sent them to his motherland. Although this piece might have flown over the Pacific Ocean, it is no different from being sent from this world to the next.
Park believes that Jo and he have not separated ever although they live apart. Even though Park lives in Japan and Jo lives in Seoul or the former lives in this world and the latter leaves, it does not mean that they are apart from each other. People out there do not buy this line of thought but poetry does. This is how poetry works.
May represents not only meetings but also breakups. If you miss someone else so much that you are never able to overcome your emotions arising from meetups and breakups, Park’s poetic phrases are here for you. We never stay apart for good.