Friday, November 22, 2013

photo assortment

I once again find myself extremely busy as I deal with some weekend projects (designing my final-exam review materials, for example), so I'm going to slap up pictures, thereby cleverly dodging the responsibility of writing something substantive. Some food pics first:

Next: my friend Seungmin's gift to me, from her mom—a pair of jangseung keychains, which Seungmin says were carved by a famous monk. I told her that I wouldn't use them as keychains, as I didn't want them to get all scratched up in my pockets.

Below: Seungmin saw my Boogie Board, which I had brought over from the States. She wrote the rough Korean equivalent of a Keanu-style "Whoa!" of astonishment on the board: Shin-gi hada! Charles once told me that there were at least two ways to render "shin-gi" in hanja (Sino-Korean characters); one of them was "神氣," where "神" (shin) means "god" or "spirit," and "氣" (gi/ki) means "vital force," "material force," "energy," or even "breath" (cf. pneuma). That's my preferred rendering; I've forgotten the other one. Shin-gi hada refers to a feeling that's a mixture of being creeped out, awed, and mystified. It's a distant cousin of Rudolf Otto's famous formulation for one's experience of the holy: mysterium tremendum et fascinans, the frightening, compelling mystery.

And finally, a modest Seungmin herself, standing in front of the Blessed Virgin last week:

She just texted today to say that she finally passed her test (second try!) to get into Ewha University's Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation (GSTI). Her hope is to become an interpreter who does a lot of work in English. I've got my fingers crossed for her.

And that's it for now. More Pohang, etc., pics later.


1 comment:

Charles said...

The more common rendering for 신기 in the sense being used here would be 神奇--same first character, but the "strange" or "mysterious" character for the second one.