Monday, January 21, 2008

Snow in Gyeongbok Palace

This was from a friend's facebook page: I love bonfires, and the colour contrast in this one's beautiful. I miss bonfires, and having clothes that smell like woodsmoke.

So it snowed again today, the flakes were big and fat, which is a good sign that it's not TOO cold (small tiny snowflakes often mean bitter cold; the fatter the flakes, the warmer the air.)

I took the chance to head down to one of Seoul's palaces, where snow stays on the ground a bit better, because they're walled, so car exhaust doesn't wipe it out the minute it touches down.

Here are some of my pictures.

These first few are from a park near the palace entrance.

The snow was really clingy and crunchy.

Inside the palace now:

Yes indeed, I did tread across pure snow, and yes, it WAS satisfying to despoil the untainted smooth snowy surface.

I don't know why, but it's absolutely human nature to want to be the first, or the only, one to do something. Give a 4-year-old a big piece of construction paper and a pair of (safety) scissors and ask them to cut out a triangle, and they'll ALWAYS cut it out of the dead center of the page (unless they've been taught by some conscientious mother to do otherwise). Yeah, the desire to go somewhere new, do something never done before, is part of what separated us from the animals perfectly happy to continue mucking about in the sea. . . but it's an interesting thing to notice.

This was a lake. During the summer, crumple a cracker into it, and it teems with grey and the occasional orange carp.

I believe the mountain pictured above is also the mountain dead center in the mountainous, symbolic screen that you can see behind the king's throne in the picture below.

This thingy is in the middle of a lake that got nearly frozen, and snowed over. . . it must be important. It's also on the money.

(I guess the Bank Of Korea wasn't as hot on the tree, though)

The tree below is a fantastic, gnarly old thing. It's supported by two or three little bars, and fenced in, and I get this funny feeling it has a story, but I have no idea what it is. It looks like a kid trying to keep his hair from sticking up to me.

This guy rolled a snowball out of snow that sat upon a gravel path, and then split it open, to discover the snowball had picked up sand and gravel along with the snow, creating the same stratified effect one can see in a place like the Grand Canyon, except much, much younger.

That's all for now.

for more looks at the ins and outs of Korean palaces, here's a nice photo/written tour of Changdeok palace, the palace closest to my house.


tamie marie said...

I love that you went to the palace, just for the joy of being in snow.

Anonymous said...

Hey there. This is Zach, from Writer's Group. I just wanted to send you a quick "Hello." and an "I hope you enjoyed the gathering." and especially an "It was a pleasure to read your poetry." I'd love to read more, if you wanted to share ( I hope we get to see you again. Until then, keep up the good work. Oh, and I enjoyed your blog.

bradj said...

Thanks for the edit. I was going to mutter something here about getting slapped by the hand you're feeding when realised that for tonight I'm past making sense... :-)