Saturday, September 13, 2008

Slow recovery

This is the view from the very top of the grave site we visited yesterday. There's a mausoleum-type structure behind me where the ashes are kept of various people. The most depressing part of this picture is the high-rise apts in the back. There's a highway that cuts through, as well, so we heard cars the whole time there. My family was forced to sell the land they owned there to the govt so they could build that road. I went 11 years ago to this site when my grandfather was still alive, to visit my grandmother's grave site, and it was totally different. Very rural, and it took a while to hike there.

This is part of my grandfather's site. I found it apt that the monument is a huge book.

This is the back of his headstone, where it lists his family. Try to find my name! Oh, wait. That only works if you know 1. my Korean name and 2. Chinese characters. It's not near the top, though, since all the men in the family are listed before the women.

Yesterday was a loooong day, but good. I love how people just know how the tradition works here and everyone falls into place. So you know what food to prepare, what to do when you get there, and then have a good time picnicking. I thought it was going to just be my grandfather's son's families (since two of them, including my dad, are in the US, that makes just two families), but my great-uncle's (one of the youngest of my grandfather's brothers) family also came, which added about five more. I didn't know any of them.

It was like the twilight zone, seeing people who have all existed while we have, in a similar formation - my grandfather had 5 kids, and this one, too. Parallel universes in the same universe! The other interesting thing is that there seem to be a bunch of art people in that branch of the family. Either it's all from people who married in, or maybe our ancestors further back had a little bit of it in their genes. Since people in my family always think my sister and I are the weirdos since we're not doctors or working for huge corporations.

When we got home in the afternoon, the men took turns taking naps while we sat and made the traditional rice cake dumplings, and then had dinner. This morning, I played w/my niece and a long piece of pink string. It is fascinating how exciting a piece of string can be to children. Which reminds me: I had a traumatic dream about moving into a shared studio space (at least 25 people in a huge warehouse) with a kitten and smokers. I ended up in a huge, huge fight w/another artist and then they all schemed to kick me out. The hilarious part of it was that it was actually a school, and that school was...SAIC! So weird, b/c I'd think that it would have been Columbia (my alma mater).

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