Another Day: Yin and Yang

Sometimes, I over-think. I look too deeply into the little things and sweat all the small stuff instead of just being able to enjoy the beauty of the world and ignore the ugliness. My mind constantly makes me feel the perfect global balance of yin and yang. I see the old man eating alone in his nice suit, walking drearily along in his old shoes. Then I see a little baby, chewing on a toy, happily being pushed by its pretty young mother. I know the deliciously amazing beef that furnishes me with energy and delights my taste buds used to be a living, breathing cow with soft black eyes. I smell the nasty, decaying vomit and trash filled sewer, making me scrunch my face into a grimace, and then walk past the row of Sunday church flowers invigorating my nostrils and letting me breathe a deeply satisfying floral breath.

I dance for hours in a smoky, pulsing club staring at immaculately dressed and stunningly beautiful women. They are the powerful kind of exquisiteness. They possess keys to most superficial men’s hearts and dangle them just off the edge of the cliff, leading many to their lustful, metaphorical deaths each night. I walk outside and there is a girl hunched over herself, hair dangling limply on the sidewalk, sitting on a curb ten minutes from throwing up and thirty minutes from passing out on the chaotic streets of Itaewon.

I walk past a row of lovely little creatures—dogs and cats, locked inside cages. Their innocent hearts craving attention and desirous of affection, they wait; their gentle eyes watching, but anticipating nothing as they wait. Perhaps they sit outside every Saturday, watching us pass, obliviously worrying about our daily issues and silly stresses as the time ticks away before they are returned to the silver lined boxes they call home at the shelter.

The passersby all feel that brief, brilliant glimpse of rescuing one forgotten animal and bringing it home to sleep at your feet and mutually understand, without speaking, true love. Then, in the late after-midnight hours, a scraggly cat walks confidently past me in an alley, not noticing my presence, content in his cage-less, house-less freedom. Not all animals need or even want human owners.

The cherry blossoms bloom for a few short weeks in April each year. They enliven the cold streets of fading winter and fill the air with a sweet, rejuvenating scent of new life. Then, they fall, millions of footsteps crushing them into fragrant remnants.

I’m confronted by the universal duality everyday. We’re forced to make attitudinal choices. There are some who are able to filter the entire world into a bright, happy, smiling, free-for-all of blissful joy. They may know pain and unhappiness, but it won’t change the fact that tomorrow will be better than today. Others are crushed by the depression and bleakness of consciousness. I lie in the middle, my Libra balancing act, loving my luck and opportunities to experience my moments while entirely aware of the fact that sorrow and grief exist, and nothing lasts forever.


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