high and low
left and right
back and forth
to and fro
but I still see no Taenggu
Where’s the path that could lead me to where my precious baby is?
This poem was inspired from my overseas travelling experiences without Taenggu physically by my side. Especially when I was travelling in South Korea, there were several moments where I couldn’t help but wonder where could she be right now? She exists in my mind, but here I am on the land where she resides, where can I find her physical body?
There was a vivid memory of this one time when I was wandering about on the streets in Seoul alone and passed by a movie theatre. I murmured to myself, “Do you think Taenggu had come to this theatre to watch movies before? Had she been here before?” A voice replied, “Fighting!” That was when I realised I wasn’t simply travelling, I was searching for Taenggu’s whereabouts and my lost memories of what could have been with her.
This poem was originally written around mid 2018 but I didn’t publish it back then. I only wrote it out of a sudden feeling of exasperation of not being able to find Taenggu anywhere around me. I felt like I have been living every day walking around aimlessly, feeling so lost in my head and not knowing where I could find Taenggu and meet her in person.
Recently, I made an interesting discovery very much by accident. I forgot what the triggering point was, but there was once while I was commuting on the train, I was probably looking through the contents in my phone and was reminded of this old poem that I wrote before. Then, I suddenly thought about the Chinese movie “向左走·向右走 (direct translation: Turn Left, Turn Right)” which was adapted from the famous illustration story book “向左走·向右走 (A Chance of Sunshine)” by Jimmy Liao many years ago. It was a touching love story about how fate keeps the two main characters from meeting and falling in love despite living next block from each other because one always walks to the left and the other to the right when they exit their apartments everyday. It felt like a good idea to back up my poem with. So I googled for images from the movie which I could use as a background image for my poem and the original illustration pictures from the book also came up in the search.
I was astonished after seeing the original illustrations of the characters from the book. Because I just realised an important fact behind a snow globe which Taenggu posted on her instagram in 2013 that was unknown to me until now. It turned out that the two characters in that snow globe were actually the characters from “Turn Left, Turn Right”! Back then, I already knew how special and meaningful this snow globe was, but I didn’t know it had an even higher significance than I thought it was.
The story of the snow globe began in July 2013 when Taenggu posted this photo on instagram (which was already deleted now).
Good night WORLD~* #진심은반드시통한다
Good night WORLD~* #SincerityWillDefinitelyBeConveyed
It was at a time when I was slowly recovering from my onset of schizophrenia. Somehow, I felt connected to what she was trying to say through this snow globe. Would we be able to travel to meet each other at some place in this world one day?
A year later, after the dating news between her and Baekhyun broke out, I went on a healing trip to Tianjin, China for a 5-week summer school programme to recover from heartbreak. On my very last day of the trip, just a few hours before I was set to return to Singapore, I was shopping at a street in Beijing and went into a shop full of art souvenirs. And to my pleasant surprise, I spotted the exact same snow globe sitting on the shelves! (By then, that photo on Taenggu’s instagram was already deleted.)
To me, it was a sign of hope. A sign that there was still a chance for me to “get back together” with Taenggu.
And we did. I “chased her back” and got together officially in January 2015 until now.
As for the snow globe, despite chancing on it unexpectedly in the streets of Beijing, I did not buy a piece for myself at the end due to its fragility and fear of overloading my baggage.
Years later, I still feel a slight pity for not getting it back then to display at home. There were many times I would daydream of going back to that same street in Beijing again to get that special snow globe for myself. But now I think I can simply purchase it online and have it shipped to my house? Lol.
Hehe sincerity will definitely be conveyed to the person you want to reach out to the most sooner or later, right? Although it took a few years of waiting, it definitely did for us! <3