All Things that Disappear Leave a Space Behind by Koh Jung-hee

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Painted by Kang Jang-won

All Things that Disappear Leave a Space Behind by Koh Jung-hee

Mother who sleeps in the grave
has left a large space in the family graveyard–
she has left a space larger than her words.
At dusk, I hike up the hill
and sit under the space of the red pine field.
All kinds of trivial talk that I picked up from Seoul,
following the stream of Release,
flow into the middle of the field and then into the sea.
Things that flow into the sea and remain invisible,
becoming the tight wind that strikes the mountain bird’s ankle,
raise a greater space once more
and disappear down a faraway trail.

The round space, the byway
that remains behind all the things that disappear!
The existence that rises up after all the absence!
The space is loneliness,
loneliness is also a space,
so the space is creation.

The day I disappear from you,
after all the weeds of my heart are gone,
I too want to remain as a tranquil space,
like an evening glow hung over your twig gate
or a creek swiftly flowing under your feet,
under the space where you sit.

모든 사라지는 것들은 뒤에 여백을 남긴다/ 고정희

무덤에 잠드신 어머니는
선산 뒤에 큰 여백을 걸어두셨다
말씀보다 큰 여백을 걸어두셨다
석양 무렵 동산에 올라가
적송밭 그 여백 아래 앉아 있으면
서울에서 묻혀온 온갖 잔소리들이
방생의 시냇물 따라
들 가운데로 흘러흘러 바다로 들어가고
바다로 들어가 보이지 않는 것은 뒤에서
팽팽한 바람이 멧새의 발목을 툭, 치며
다시 더 큰 여백을 일으켜
막막궁산 오솔길로 사라진다

오 모든 사라지는 것들 뒤에 남아있는
둥근 여백이여 뒤안길이여
모든 부재 뒤에 떠오르는 존재여
여백이란 쓸쓸함이구나
쓸쓸함 또한 여백이구나
그리하여 여백이란 탄생이구나

나도 너로부터 사라지는 날
내 마음의 잡초 다 스러진 뒤
네 사립에 걸린 노을 같은, 아니면
네 발 아래로 쟁쟁쟁 흘러가는 시냇물 같은
고요한 여백으로 남고 싶다
그 아래 네가 앉아 있는

 

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