우리 교회 이명하 권사님의 시집에 아주 재미있는 시가 있습니다.
멀고 먼 나라 부유한 나라
가기 힘든 나라 혀 꼬부리고 말하는 나라
어머니는 딸 셋을 보내고
지명 외우느라 힘들었다 하셨다
나름대로 연구 끝에
큰딸 있는 도시를 신데렐라 상상하며, 신시내티
둘째 딸 사는 곳은 로상에서 안절부절, 로스앤젤레스
셋째 딸 있는 곳은 꽃 필라다 말라다, 필라델피아 (중략)
(이명하, 황금 갈대의 밀어, 푸른사상, 118)
정말 무릎 ‘탁’ 칠만한 지혜로우신 어머니의 발상입니다. 이런 어머니 이라면 어디든 못 갈 곳이 없을 것입니다. 세상은 화려해진 듯 하나 복 잡하고, 고층빌딩으로 늘어선 아파트들은 미세먼지로 뿌연 유령도시 같고, 사람마다 얼굴 가리고 다니는 마스크는 관계의 단절을 상징하듯 삭막해 보이기만 합니다. 그러나 이럴 때 지혜로운 발상과 재치는 삶의 윤활유가 되어 웃음을 자아냅니다.
이 권사님 어머님이 얼바인은 어떻게 외우실까 상상해 봅니다. 우리는 얼바인, 어리바리한 사람들이었지만 하나님의 집, 베델에 모여서 에너 지 넘치는 예배로 삶의 원동력을 얻어, (얼)굴도 은혜로 (밝)아지고 하 나님께 (인)정받으며 비상하는 얼바인공동체입니다.
Irvine – “Ir-ri-Va-ri-In” – Confused person?
Rev. Bryan Kim
Each time I visit Korea, I have noticed that many apartment complexes have foreign names. It would be nice if these names are in proper English or some other foreign language so I can understand the meaning, however these names can be rather confusing. For example, the description “Best in the middle of Han River – or – River, Center, Zenith” are synthesized and pronounced as “Ri-Cen-Ze”, and the word ‘Luxury Castle’ is synthesized as “Lux-stle”. I thought builders named apartments this way to give luxurious ambience. However, one not so laughable news article reported the reason for such confusing name is for the elderly parents from rural area to have difficulty finding their children’s apartments in the city. Such article leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth that we are now living in age where aging parents need to depend on navigation system to find their children’s homes. As the life expectancy is approaching 100 years, Korean parents seem to need to come up with a clever method of remembering the names of their children their children’s apartment.
There is a very interesting poem written by Myung-Ha Lee Gwonsa-nim of our church.
(Excerpts from: Myung-Ha Lee, Golden Reed – secret words, Green Thoughts, 118)
America is a heaven on earth
Rich country, distant and far away
Country difficult to get to, with tongue twisting language
Mother sent three daughters
She had hard time remembering names of places
After thinking long and hard
For the city her first daughter lived, she imagined Cinderella for Cincinnati
For the second daughter, she imagined ‘Lo-sang-an-geol-bu-geol’ for Los Angeles
For the third daughter, she imagined ‘pil-la-da-mal-la-da’ (flower about to bloom) for Philadelphia
Such is a wise mother trying to remember the names of cities where her daughters were living in America. Mothers like her probably could go anywhere on earth. World seems to have become a fancy place, but it is complex. Cities are filled with rows of high-rise buildings but looking ghostly covered in smog and dust. People wearing face masks seem to symbolize distance in human relationships. However, witty wisdom in time like this can be lubrication for life, and bring smiles to our faces.
I think about how this Gwon-sa-nim would memorize ‘Irvine’. One could remember Irvine by remembering “Ir-ri-Va-ri-In” which means ‘confused – person’ in Korean. However, we are no longer “Ir-ri-Va-ri-In” – confused people. We are gathered in the house of God to obtain the driving force of life through energetic worship with our faces brightened by grace and bound for glory for God has recognized the Bethel community!