let the light in

sarah suk // 석혜리

shopping for luna

a more substantial blog post coming soon, but in the meantime here’s a vlog from a few weeks ago on my first korea shopping haul for emory lu! (many more shopping hauls happened after the filming of this video and will probably continue to happen because it looks like i’ll be hanging out in korea for awhile longer- but more on that next time!).

strawberry milk

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korea week one:
– i drink a lot of milk here. banana milk. strawberry milk. there’s a carton of chocolate milk in the fridge right now.
– every night i sleep at least 9 hours. sometimes even longer! at halmuni’s house, 8 pm feels like 11.
– it’s been interesting being back in korea and noticing the things that have changed and the things that haven’t but feel like they have because maybe i’ve come back with a different perspective. and then there are things that are the same and feel the same. for example, my favourite brand of strawberry milk was 서울우유 (seoul milk- as pictured above) and i can confirm that it is still number 1 in my heart of strawberry milks.
– today i went to a paper art museum with umma and my uncle. the woman selling tickets asked if i would like a child priced ticket. she said, “it’s for anyone still in high school!” “but i graduated university,” i said.
– here’s a tanka (a 5-7-5-7-7 poem) about how i’ve been feeling these days:

i’m an astronaut 
and my spaceship’s called ‘question’
we’re out here floating
drinking up the milky way
lost but caught in nets of stars

the current life situation as of right now

– i am sitting in my big blue suitcase, hoping this will inspire me. inspire me in what, i’m not sure. figuring out what to pack maybe. how many plaid shirts will i need? how many plaid shirts do i have? too many. why so many? i feel inspired to get another. it must be the suitcase.

– this coming tuesday (that’s two sleeps from now) i’ll be flying out to south korea. umma already left three weeks ago, two days after halabuji passed away. she said, “why don’t you come with me?” she went first while i renewed my passport and finished up my final few shifts at the ice cream store. the last scoop i made for myself was a peanut butter chocolate chip waffle cone, kids size, a perfect companion for a drizzly walk along main street with my forearm still speckled with fudge. see, i’m nostalgic already!

three potential dates i could come back home:
1) apr 2nd which is when umma is coming back. i have a ticket booked already to return with her.
2) some time in august if i get the internship that i applied for in seoul.
3) if i stay a little longer to spend more time with halmuni. maybe may. maybe june. maybe ????

– timing is a strange thing. i gave in my one month notice at earnest because as much as i loved it, i felt that i needed a new challenge. about a week later is when we got the phone call from korea about halabuji. he passed away in his sleep on chinese new year. “since you won’t be working anymore, why don’t you come?” tentative tickets were booked. 2016 is the year of the monkey which is the same year that i was born.

– last tuesday during a morning ice cream shift, i was picking up garbage and cleaning up the block when i found a folded up note in the planter outside. it was a 1000 won korean bill. i put it in my pocket to keep. i think it was god saying, “i know you’re sad about leaving this place. here’s a dollar to buy yourself an ice cream bar in korea.” he knows me well.

– i’m really happy leonardo dicaprio won an oscar tonight.

three things i hope for in the upcoming months of who knows what:
1) time to rest
2) the softness to trust
3) lots of bingsu

earnest brunch

final staff brunch // photo credits to bekah

baby wisdom

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“don’t worry everything is going to be a-ok”
– a photo of luna from three months ago

and while we’re reminiscing about when she was a two month old…

victoria

grandpa

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우리 할아버지에게 –
저랑 이야기를 많이 나누시고 같이 바나나 우유를 마셔줘서 감사합니다. 저를 위해 힘든 계단도 올라오시고 걱정 해주셔서 진짜 감사합니다. 저는 할아버지를 생각할때마다 감사한 마음으로 생각해요. 할아버지는 가끔식 노인이 돼서 아무것도 못 한다고 했는데 저는 한번도 그렇게 생각하지 않았어요. 저 한테 하나 뿐인 할아버지라서 너무 소중했어요. 할아버지는 저 한테 영원히 소중한 사람 일거예요. 같이 보낸 시간 잇지 않을게요. 아주 많이 보고싶고 감사합니다.

goodbye halabuji, i love you with all of my heart

driving

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this is a picture of me after i passed my class 5 driving test two weeks ago (what’s a class 5? here in BC, you get your L which is your learners and then you take a road test to get your N which is your novice and then you take another road test to get your class 5 which is your full license. this is me saying goodbye to my N and hello to a life of no more driving tests ever again yahoo!).

learning to drive for me was a long and difficult process. i failed, i cried, i had nightmares, i gave up. and then i started again. i signed up for two car shares, coaching myself to get into the driver’s seat just one more time and then again. strangely enough, driving itself was always alright and even enjoyable. it was the lead up to it that made me feel anxious, the thought of getting into a car and ending up in a situation where i wouldn’t know what to do, where people could get hurt and i would be trapped in that awful feeling with no where to go because when you’re driving, you can’t just hop out whenever you want.

for a lot of people, driving symbolizes freedom, but to me it symbolized the feeling of being trapped.

when i passed my test the second time i tried, the first person i called was my driving instructor dave (aka my driving conscience). i felt really proud to be able to call him and say thank you. i also felt really proud and happy when my license came in the mail because look! that’s my picture on that card! that’s me!

my driving anxiety has lifted little by little and one day i’ll have to look back to remember it because it won’t be with me at all anymore. it will be as natural as people in the movies make it seem and i won’t continue to fear being trapped in a state of disaster. i won’t dwell in the lead up, i’ll just keep on getting in the driver’s seat. just one more time.

and then again.

still alive

blog: hey sarah
blog: how’s it going
blog: remember me
blog: remember how we used to hang out
blog: ?
blog: is that ever going to happen again?
blog: ?
-silence-
blog: ???
-more silence-
blog: ??????

-after 100 years of silence-
me: oh yes!
me: i haven’t forgotten you
me: i will write with you again
me: we will hang out again
me: forgive me for being away for so long!

blog: ok
blog: that’s ok
blog: i forgive you

me: i’ll make it up to you by writing a post RIGHT NOW
me: -writes this really strange update-
me: -not sure where this is going-
me: -but at least it’s getting out there-

blog: thank you i appreciate it really
me: let’s see each other again soon in a less weird way than this
blog: ok
me: ok see you!
blog: bye!

emory luna

one month ago, this little human was born into the world:

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meet emory luna musil, my baby girl niece! she was born on october 1 2015, which makes today her one month birthday. to celebrate, i made a video blog to recap her first four weeks.

also, here’s the full pregnancy reveal video for those who want to re-live this moment too. it feels like not too long ago when we were all anticipating baby’s birth and now she’s here and forever intertwined with our lives! what a crazy thing to think about.

the first few times i held her, she would always cry, but we have both been learning each other and i feel a lot more comfortable holding her now. in fact, it’s one of my new favourite things. i haven’t spent a lot of time with infants before so i have never known the comfort of holding a warm, round baby in your arms until now. also, i love the baby smell. and browsing all the baby clothes stores when i go to the mall and having a real reason to buy something. and noticing all the other babies on the street and thinking in my head that they’re cute but luna is cuter (just kidding) (all babies are precious) (but luna is the best).

as an aunt, i look forward to the years to come and i pledge to:
– buy luna lots of yummy treats while also encouraging her to brush her teeth and floss
– let luna come over whenever she wants to visit, no matter where in the world i live (if i end up living somewhere cool like the countryside or a place with lots of fruit trees or noodle carts where people go fishing in the river and turn their lights off by 9 pm, luna can come and spend the summer and write essays about it when she goes back to school in september)
– play with her and pray for her and be a listening ear
– let my imagination run alongside hers when her mind starts spinning all different colours and stories and light
– buy her socks

that’s it for now, but this will probably be an ever-growing and ever-changing list. to conclude, another photo of the best one month old in the world:

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admiralty point

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this past monday, my friend seb and i decided to go on a hike to admiralty point in port coquitlam. one of the first things we saw when we were starting the trail was a big yellow ‘BEAR CAUTION’ sign. lucky for me, seb came equipped with a bear bell and we didn’t end up seeing any furry creatures during our time there. (but funny story, a day or two later, my sister and mom were going for a walk in our neighbourhood and they saw a bear right outside our house! someone should put a ‘BEAR CAUTION’ sign in our complex. and hand out complimentary bear bells whenever someone moves in. along with a cookie and maybe a twenty dollar bill so they don’t get scared and leave immediately).

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the ground was damp from the previous day’s rain and every few minutes, we would hear the sound of our shoes squeaking and slipping and losing grip on the leaves beneath our soles. but it was perfect and the rain made everything smell extra woodsy and tree-esque. at many turns, it felt like we were going through a porthole into a studio ghibli universe. i mean, if totoro were going to live anywhere in the lower mainland, it would probably be poco right? (totoro in pocoro) (kekeke).

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we took two breaks, once to eat snacks and a second to journal by the water. these korean sweet potato snacks are one of my favourite things in the world (seb: is that potato holding a potato?). even as i write this blog post, there’s an unopened bag of sweet potato snacks by my side. even if i’m not eating them, i just appreciate its company.

seb: it’s so quiet here
me: -munching on sweet potato snacks- *loud crunching noises*
seb: ok

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by the end of our hike, the sun came out to say see you later. it was honestly a very much needed sabbath day and i felt more hopeful than i have in awhile. during our journal break, seb shared with me the psalm of the day from his prayer book. it was psalm 19 and reading it, hearing it out loud, and thinking about it made my heart stir, like something inside me was sparking back to life. it is a mystery to me how the word of the lord can be so alive and have the power to also bring things to life around it; this is something i’ve been learning and thinking about lately. more desired than gold and sweeter than the drippings of a honeycomb, his presence is healing and unexpectedly comforting and vast.

thank you for the trees and the trails and the words that you speak. i hope to find myself in its folds again, and again and again and again.