The afternoon meal has long since been eaten. The evening has not quite yet arrived. The kitchen and dining room occupied by the scurry of bodies preparing the evening meal, several folks head outside. In the courtyard the sun rests its elongated rays along the low wall surrounding the family homestead. A young boy, his father and uncles take long moments to acclimate themselves in this new environment. It is much of what their stuffy house is not. Having just woke up from a long afternoon nap, their shared moments seemed effortless.
Such a scene was set last weekend while visiting a family gathering east of Gwangju. All members had not yet arrived. Therefore, the scene was mellow, surprisingly sober, and infused with an expected ambiance. They live at the end of a long country lane in the crux of a valley in Muan. Rather sheltered, the light only reaches the home for a brief period each day. However when it does, it shines bright. This is a metaphor which I’m sure fits the atmosphere many adults feel when returning to their childhood homes. As the photo above shows, this feeling is also one which can be felt from the reflections of a moment perhaps more than front-and-center. The photo allows for just enough of a nostalgic rendering of what is unseen yet deeply felt. In doing so, the image allows our memories to fill in the gaps it leaves. Within these gaps sits the complicated love we often feel about where we are from. However, when the moment comes, we may also squint into the sun, exhale, and take in such faded surroundings in a new, brilliant light.
[Image taken with a Ricoh GR1 shooting Kodak Tri-x 400.]
(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)