What is beautiful?

I was listening to NPR’s On Point and the guests were talking about middle age. Pamela Druckerman, a Journalist and author, said,

“The nature of beauty changes as you get older. You are no longer beautiful because you are unlined, perfect and firm everywhere. You look in your 40s and beyond like you have a story. And the kind of French twist on this is to say it is this story that makes you beautiful. This one woman said to me ‘We are not frozen. We are alive.’ The beauty is to see who someone is.”

We often associate a youthful look with beauty. Then, I realized that a youthful look is beautiful because it conveys the imagination, the will, the energy and the potential. Of course, I’m not going to toss out my eye cream and give out the routine of my minimal skin care, but I could see the necessity for anti-aging treatment for the mind—keep staying curious, trying, learning, contemplating and dreaming.

We are educated to be presentable, but what is more important is to have a story to present.


Photo by Candida.Perfoma / CC BY 2.0


코끝에서 시작해 손끝까지 오감으로 봄을 만끽하는 하루.

봄은 하얀 벚꽃으로도 오고, 재잘재잘 새소리로도 오고, 봄비가 내린 캠퍼스의 화단 흙냄새로도 오고, 입안 가득 달콤한 딸기맛으로도 오고, 살짝 접어 올린 소매 아래 손목을 스쳤다가 깜짝 놀라 미안해하는 봄바람으로도 옵니다.

심장 쫄깃한 자극이 아니어도 들썩들썩 요란하지 않아도, 은은하게 또 조용하게 경쾌한 붓터치만으로 봄은 사람의 맘을 살랑살랑하게 합니다.

봄의 싱그러움을 닮고 싶다고 하기엔 좀 낮간지럽지만, 한살 두살 나이가 들어도 누군가를 만났을 때 봄처럼 다가오는 사람이 되고 싶다는 생각을 문득 합니다. 화려한 언변, 짙고 강한 이미지, 톡쏘는 사이다 같은 매력 없이도,

은은하게, 조용하게, 스며들듯 이끌리게.

(In front of my office building)

What I pay for in a cafe


I was working in a local coffee shop and a lady, who was sitting next to me and looked agitated for a while, finally called an employee over. “It seems that the internet is not working.” The server looked at her phone and said sympathetically, “Yes, it is slow.” The customer continued, “Usually, it takes a second to download this file, but it hasn’t even started.” The server shrugged. “It sometimes depends on how many people are using the internet.” Then, she added. “You know, it’s free internet.”

Looking more frustrated, the customer packed up and walked off. In 2-3 minutes, a couple of customers also left holding their laptops in their hands. When asked, the same server gave them the same answer: “It’s free internet.”

That server thinks that she sells coffee to the customers. That’s what the menu says and that’s what the receipts show. However, the customers purchased the whole package of experience associated with coffee.

I’m afraid that this server would realize what the store actually sells only after she starts losing customers. Only after she starts to see a difference in the number of the receipts she collects.

I’m traveling… in a way


“Some scholars of literature claim that a book is really that virtual place your mind goes to when you are reading. It is a conceptual state of imagination that one might call ‘literature space.’” (p. 91 of The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly)

In my office building ditched by students who packed up for exciting trips for Spring Break, I brought an exciting world to me. Call me lazy; I’ll take it. Strictly speaking, I’m traveling too.