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Stephanie Drenka


Korea // Land of the Morning Calm

Korea // Land of the Morning Calm

“There’s a Korean word, Han. I looked it up. There is no literal English translation. It’s a state of mind. Of soul, really. A sadness. A sadness so deep no tears will come. And yet, still, there’s hope.” (The West Wing)

With the holidays around the corner, I find myself reminiscing about my sister’s visit last Christmas. I wonder if/when we will spend another Christmas together. I think about her family preparing for the birth of my nephew next month— wishing we could experience important life moments like that together. To combat the melancholy that attempts to creep in around this time of year, I’ve been combing through photos from the trip to Korea when I met my birth family for the first time. These are memories I’ve kept mostly to myself for these last three years, because I haven’t quite figured out how to write about the experience. Some distant day, I may finally write the memoir I promised to, if I ever found my birth family — in the meantime, pictures will have to be worth enough.

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