With Mt. Naejang spotted with beautiful colors of the fall season, many leaf peepers hike the mountains as it is high on their wish list to appreciate such incredible sceneries. By contrast, the palette of the colorfully leafy season fails to overwhelm some folks including me who do not care no matter what happens in the mountains in fall. Although they remember the old days when autumn foliage came across impressive, it is not the case anymore. It takes a certain level of energy and passion to love and adore things. If you do not relate to the story of the beautifully dyed mountains while feeling as if you were free-falling, it means that you have got the blues. A depressed ego builds a cramped and dark chamber inside that allows you to stay alone with the determination not to step out of the room ever. This is where not the fiercely reddening fall leaves but a burning torch of passion is supposed to do its magic.
Here is another room on the very opposite side to the depressingly dark room in your heart. Poet Lee Seung-hoon describes a thousand joys and a thousand suns in a piece of his poetry. You may not have come across any single source of joy yet not to mention a thousand joys. A thousand suns seem even unrealistic to the eyes staring the jet-blackly coffin-like room. The joys and suns in Lee’s poetic words make your heart racing and your eyes blinded by glare. The poet confesses that he will not ever reach his destination but it is not a message coming out of frustration and despair. He cannot resist his pursuit of a thousand joys and a thousand suns until he loses vitality although he vaguely knows that the longings of his heart will never be fulfilled. This is what we call passion.
This is how Lee led his own life. It did not matter to him whether his literary career reached the pinnacle of Western or Eastern poetics. He only dedicated himself to pursue his goals. It is not a question out of wisdom whether it has been a successful life. We should ask another question in the era of darkness. Have we built any chamber of a sun?