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“Why the Sky Is Blue” by Song Ha-choon


ⓒ Korea Tourism Organization

They say that young people’s love is pink. Is old people’s love pink as well?

Does love grow old too? What does old love look like? I heard that the color of bliss is orange. If young people’s love is pink, he wants his love to be orange. 

That’s right. His world now was entirely orange. 


그는 터져 나오는 탄성을 목 안으로 삼키며 창밖을 보았다.

거기 그녀가 모습을 드러낸 것이다.

She’s here!

He looked out the window, swallowing an exclamation. She showed up there. 

오후에 눈이 내릴 거라는 예보는 

벌써 몇 차례나 할아버지 마음을 흔들어 놓았는지 모른다.

동네 상가를 채 빠져나가지도 못했는데 하늘은 펑펑 함박눈을 퍼붓기 시작했다.

그는 그녀를 불러내기로 하였다.

언젠가는 꼭 차를 한 잔 같이하고 싶었는데, 

오늘이 그 날이었음에 틀림없다.

The weather forecast predicting a snowy afternoon left the old man’s heart aflutter many times already. Large snowflakes fell from the sky even before he walked out of the shopping mall. He decided to ask her out. He had always wanted to have tea with her, so today must be that day.

그녀는 운현궁 담벼락을 끼고 낙원상가 쪽으로 걸어가고 있었다.

안국역 5번 출구로 나오면 쉬운데 4번 출구로 잘못 나왔음이 분명하다.

그는 달려 나가 이쪽이라고 외치고 싶었지만 그냥 지켜보는 수밖에 없었다.

책 다실 ‘삼가연정’

의미를 알 듯 모를 듯 구태 나는 ‘삼가연정’이 알맞게 통속적이어서 끌렸다.

그녀와 차를 마신다면 이 집이 좋겠다고 그는 언제부턴가 별려왔었다.

She was walking along the walls of Unhyeongung Palace toward Nakwon Arcade. She must have mistakenly gotten out of Exit No. 4 instead of an easier Exit No. 5 of Anguk Station. He wanted to run out and shout over here but had no choice but to just watch. 

Book cafe Samgayeonjeong.

He was drawn to the vaguely old-fashioned Samgayeonjeong for the right amount of ordinariness. He had always thought this would be the perfect place to have tea with her. 

눈발은 난삽하게 흩날렸고, 풍경속의 그녀는 그대로 할머니였다.

The snow was coming down hard and the woman in that scene was old.

# Interview with literary critic Jeon So-yeong

He had said that the love of young people is pink while that of old people is orange. If pink is the color of sunrise, orange is that of sunset. The rising sun is vivid and empowering, but the setting sun is also wonderfully captivating. Love in the old years must be like that too. Believing that this could be the last love in one’s lifetime could make that feeling more intense and splendid. 

그는 수화기를 든 채 우두커니 앉아 있었다.


5일째였는데, 불과 5일 밖에 되지 않았는데, 

5일이면 감쪽같이 떠날 수가 있구나.

내 안의 사랑을 일깨워준 여자, 꿈같았는데...

Mr. Kim just stood there with the phone in his hand. 

So, this is it. It was only five days. Five days were all it took for her to leave him. The woman who rekindled the fire of love inside of him. It was like a dream.

그는 허리를 일으켜 창밖을 보았다.

4번 출구를 빠져나와 운현궁 돌담길을 사람들이 부지런히 걸어가고 있었다.

안경을 벗어 눈자위를 비볐다.

그리고 다시 창밖을 보지만 거기 그녀는 보이지 않았다.

살아 숨 쉬는 것까지도 어제 그대로인데, 사라진 것은 그녀뿐이었다.

그럼, 지금쯤 어딘가를 가고 있을 거야.

눈발이 멎어 있었다.

He stood up and looked out the window. People were briskly walking out of the subway station and along the stone walls of Unhyeongung Palace. He took off his glasses to rub his eyes. And then he looked out the window once more, but he couldn’t find her. He was still alive and breathing, just like he had yesterday, but she was the only one gone. She must be going somewhere. It had stopped snowing.

Song Ha-choon (Born in Gimje, Jeollabuk-do Prov., 1994~ )

Debuted with short story “An Autumn Spent Like That” in 1972

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