“Oh phosphorescence. Now there’s a word to lift your hat to… To find that phosphorescence, that light within — is the genius behind poetry.”
I recently asked someone to describe himself in three words.
It was asked in half jest, half serious curiosity. It’s a question I come back to every once in a while when I wonder how a person views themselves. Of all people, I understand the desire to qualify and put all the words together just right to make sure I am fully expressing what I want to say. But then demanded to chop away all the additional details and narrow it down to three, stark words? This is a challenge I cannot take lightly, especially when trying to describe something so important as the self!
I am in the habit of asking questions but never answering them. So turning this question around and putting the spotlight onto myself, I was momentarily mute; what three words would I use to describe this person, Becky?
There are so many fascinating, colorful words to use. Some quotes from “Dead Poet’s Society” are brought to mind when I think about words and their purpose.
“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do.”
“No matter what anyone tells you,” it goes on, “words and ideas can change the world.”
I will have to agree there there is something so incredibly alluring about a person who uses words well; whatever the language may be. I have been accused by friends of being too attracted to a man’s mind and conversational mastery over more important qualities such as kindness, loyalty and generosity (not true! So I protest ㅋㅋㅋ) There is certainly truth in the wooing of women with language.
So I thought and thought. Of the endless stream of words I could pick, which three suited me best? Undoubtedly, depending on who is viewing me and doing the choosing, the words will come out differently. But given the choice of what I wished would be said about me, I concluded with these.
Enchanting. Curious. Rare.
I feel a little embarrassed when I write this. To be enchanting is to almost have a sort of magical quality, casting a spell that captivates and dazzles others. In my life, I have met few people who have enchanted me; I remain steadfastly impassive to celebrity and fame. But those who truly enchant have been far and few between. Could I hope to be one of them?
And then Curious.
“Curiosity killed the cat,” Fesgao remarked, his dark eyes unreadable. Aly rolled her eyes.
Why did everyone say that to her? “People always forget the rest of the saying,” she complained. “‘And satisfaction brought it back.” – Tamora Pierce, Trickster’s Choice.
Curiosity may well be the death of me. Would I rather die knowing or live happily in ignorance? I inevitably open Pandora’s Box with a mix of trepidation and excitement. I believe that a natural sign on intelligence and zest for life is curiosity; asking questions even though answers might not ever be found, wondering what’s just around the corner; exploration and discovery tinge life’s mundane moments with adventure. I’d like to be that way always.
And last, the most arrogant word of all; Rare. Every human hopes to be unique, to stand out. That rare individual is the one who will remain imprinted in your mind after they’ve gone. They are like a brilliant light that flashes once, and you’re left blinking away the illumination that still flares when you close your eyes. Rare is not necessarily beautiful. Rare is once of a kind, and once gone, can never be found again.
As I type this out, I wonder again if these are really the words I want. Wouldn’t it be better to choose things like “thoughtful” or “optimistic” or “kind”? I don’t really know. I wonder what others would say.
I found a cafe recently that is certainly curious. This is Seoulite Cafe.
Its colors are dreamy, thanks to the neon light that is hung haphazardly from the ceiling and the smart use of tinted windows. It’s located in an old factory-room-turned-cafe, a trend that is becoming common in the old Euljiro area. It’s not easily seen from the street and you have to go up some narrow steps to find it on the third floor. The door is unmarked, except for a paper taped to it that says ‘Seoulite Cafe.’ Undistinguished and gritty, it’s a curious cafe, indeed.
I visited with photographer and friend, Manon. In her words, she’s a “tiny French human in Korea,” and a beautiful soul. I highly recommend seeing her official website www.nothorma.com for more of her work. She’s beyond creative and smart, and her photos are alive with her character.
Seoulite is almost like a secret. I like that it’s not easy to find. I like that it isn’t put together beautifully. I like that the owner came late on the morning I requested to visit, and he ran up the stairs, apologizing.
It has beautiful drinks, and you can easily snap some charming photos using the light just right. They serve coffees, desserts, and wine in the evening.
Come and visit. If you do take pictures, I hope you’ll tag me on instagram @sincerelybeckyw – I love to see another Cafe Hunter on the prowl 🙂
Hours: 12:00 pm – 11pm / Sat & Sun 1:00pm – 12:00am / Tue is Rest Day
Location: Jung-gu 263-4 3F
Plastic Free: Almost. Still using plastic straws.