About eight years ago, while traveling in Bergen, Norway, I found a flower shop in the middle of the harbor on a rainy afternoon. Right in front of the shop, a small advertisement panel on which a picture of a Nordic woman holding a bunch of tulips was printed welcomed me. That picture was fairly interesting and exotic to me, in that the woman looked happy holding tulips, which are not popular in Korea. A bit later, I realized that was how I perceived Norway--an interesting exotic world with friendliness.
Recently, I had a chance to talk to someone who lives in Bergen. While showing pictures I took there long ago, I ran into the picture of the woman with tulips. According to the person from Bergen, the shop was shut down a few months after I visited there because the owner passed away.
That was eight years ago, and I haven’t been back to Bergen since. I have occasionally met a group of people from Bergen in Seoul, but even these events stopped happening just a few years after my last trip to Bergen. The tulip shop, my memories of Norway, and my affections for Norway, all of them, slowly vanished away.
These days, I live in an arid desert, so-called Arizona, without tulips, rainy afternoons, and something to have an affection for. Instead, scattered bushes that barely survive handling the heartless environment fill out the desert. Like the bushes, I make a living at graduate school.
On my short trip to the desert to commemorate the end of my coursework, I finally found a place that I could have an affection for. On that spot, I took art-oriented pictures, probably for the first time this year. I believe that one day I will recall my life in Arizona in any form, and as I do so, I’d love to recall this bush, and no one will tell me bushes like this have vanished away.