Burning ★★★★★

“There is no right or wrong. Just the morals of nature.”

As the year is coming to an end, I decided to re-ignite a joint called Burning. “It’s called Marijuana,” said Ben in his most nonchalant tone. Reading Murakami is like catching a glimpse of yourself among other detached souls, right there in the ethereal prose, right within the fingertip’s reach. Nevertheless, you cannot catch that so called glimpse. Observe it, see it, read it, understand it but catch it? No it’s impossible. Will you be able to catch up with Hae-mi’s shadow, occupied in a space where the realm of reality can never touch? You may want to hear that “bass”, a heavy mystical rhythm Ben has mentioned when he and Jong Su both watch the sun go down beyond the hill of Paju. Before he makes a sincere confession, Mowg’s deep echoes have already gnawed at my aching bones. But why do we blame Ben for his empty smirks, his spiritless yawns, his luxurious flow of wealth? The universe never gives us anything concrete so that we could sleep in peace without having to think who is the real arsonist in this game of three?

An imperfect past and an incomplete dream. Lee Jong Su is the most inferior person out of the bunch, in other words, he has nothing. He cannot leave to Africa to find out about the “Great Hunger” nor could he dream about living a posh life, listening to the kind of Western jazz a nobody like him could never fathom. He only possesses a faint shadowy outline, not yet a complete shadow, of the big world. Outside the front porch, the light is ready to surrender to twilight’s gloom, contrasting light with darkness as well as material prosperity with impoverishment. Loneliness again, takes over the sunset where the border between North and South forms such a beautiful sight, providing music for the rhythm of a naked life – Hae mi’s great hunger comes to existence. Here, Ben feels the low-pitched bass meanwhile Jong-su feels no rhythm…he has absolutely zilch…nothing but jealousy for the “object” he wants to clutch tight. Moreover, because of that, frustrations and torments all forge into a knife. In Lee’s world, reality is fantasy; fantasy is reality. One becomes the other. Visible objects become invisible and vice versa.

Can we just be the shadowy figures in the city of gray clouds, fuming for the questions of life? I hold my thoughts firmly and clearly as I’m not trying to answer anything this time. Possibility lies within many possibilities. Hae-mi, Jong-su or Ben, they live inside each of us. We picture greenhouses being scorched to ashes, bodies littered as trashes. They are just stories we tell ourselves until our skin goes up in smoke.

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