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Photo Credit: Therese Young Kim

POSTIMPRESSIONISM THAT HAS COLORED MY WRITING (An Essay on my Writing Life)

Impressionism in painting is known to have been born in France, between 1867 and 1886, which has inspired the world of art with the new form of expression and technique, including writers and musicians around the world. I have long been beholden to many immortal postimpressionist painters and writers who keep me awed and inspired, although my knowledge of their genius is no deeper than shallow water.

     I am a peripatetic writer who owes her literary style and voice (if any) to postimpressionism, to the sublime colors of nature, as well as to the legend behind those immortal paintings. I write poems and stories that are strung together from the stories taken in the fleeting moments of my humble life in New York City, that are heavily embellished.

     I take my laptop for my walk like a pet, which holds the world of my poetry, prose, and stories, as well as a novel,“Nayoung’s Journey,”that have been written for many years, some still being edited whenever I can sit in a café at the end of my walks.

     Many were written while I roamed around the city, listening to the rhythm and cadence of sidewalks, to the melodious utterances of foreign languages brushing by my ear. I think my experience as an interpreter for over 25 years has turned me into a natural eavesdropper because of my practice of listening to the words spoken in one language before rendering them into another without missing the beat.

     Ironically, the world is now full of eavesdroppers, private eyes, and voyeurs in this internet age. Yes, our journey through these fleeting moments of blinding speed could be deemed our impressionistic lifestyle, isn’t it? At the same token, albeit with a different bent, I am happy to identify myself as an impressionistic writer, which is completely a happenstance.

     It all happened when I received a little box of books from an American lady who used to teach us English conversation some 60 years ago when I was about to enter a college. Although she soon left for America, to my utter surprise, delight, and gratitude she sent me a box of books, such as “Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoevsky, a book by Kipling, a book of Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and “Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorn. I did send her a letter thanking her profusely, only to lose contact soon after.

     Fast forward, when I came to America I searched for her, unsuccessfully, so here I express my infinite gratitude again to Mrs. Virginia Mann—who may have long departed this earth—for her opening my soul to the beauty and truth of the world of literature.

     They say impressionism in literature captures fleeting moments and sensory experiences, and impressionist artists would paint en plain air for many hours at a time to capture the shifting light in a fleeting moment.

     So do I walk and paint with my words in plain air, air the phrases and sentences in the passing breeze, dry them in the toasty sun, and set them to the rhythm of my solitary footsteps, before coloring them in pewter-gray for my tormented soul or in dawn-pink for hopes and ecstasy. All that in the stream of my subconscious, never forced or premeasured, only free like a bird out of her cage, like a stallion running on the empty beach.

     I guess that’s how some of my writings have been created, written, and completed, like “Nayoung’s Journey,” a novel, women’s literary fiction, for which I am in search of literary agent. “Nayoung’s Journey” is partly based on true events, about a courageous young Korean woman who embarks on her fateful journey of love and trauma, from Seoul to Hamburg, to New York in 1960’s, to reclaim her lost American dream. Nayoung's Journey is a provocative little novel with the timeless beauty and mystery of a windflower, anemone.

     In the picture posted above are a few books of impressionism and postimpressionism, together with my favorite authors picked from my scanty library, arranged on the white shawl crocheted by my mother in her waning days—the relic of her love.

Written and Copyright by © Therese Young Kim February 2024

For titles and publishers of the books in the above picture, please, go to:

External link opens in new tab or windowhttp://www.lnkedin.com/in/therese-young-kim-43a906114




"I am beholden to the golden sun and postimpressionism in all arts and literature, that has colored my writing."

©Therese Young Kim

David pour Homme

In the Manhattan theatre district
a man walks up the street in his sleek
black coat and tall riding boots,

a black Labrador strutting alongside him
                             in silent rumba.

Sun-bronzed and angular like a Roman bust,
his russet hair tumbling around broad shoulders
                       he walks in my direction.

A stage actor, perhaps, memorizing his lines
to the beat and motion of the canine walk.

Wide brown eyes peering into the void of time,
he looks like
                     Michelangelo's naked David.

Clattering heels like a horse's hooves,
the man with a black Labrador passes me by
leaving me a whiff of
                             David pour Homme.

Written by ©Therese Young Kim

infinite gratitude to Richard Merli and the Editors at October Hill
Magazine for publishing the above poem in the OHM Spring 2020 Issue.

Posted March 7, 2024, ©Therese Young Kim
Therese Young Kim YouTube Channel

©Therese Young Kim



Dear Readers:

A pleasant hello to you this lovely summer evening!

It’s been nearly half a year since I wrote to you. How time rushes by, turning one moment’s episode into a memory, only to be eclipsed by the next in such an alarming succession! So many tragic tales seem to have washed ashore in the digital wave and still unfolding; however, there were also tales of incredible human spirit of courage and goodness as well.

As you may notice, I’ve posted some new texts and images, in which I’d like to highlight a poem, Katrina’s Child, in the Poetry Page, in remembrance of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Quite a meagre one, but humbly, I’d like to dedicate the poem to the hungry and displaced people around the world, especially the children.

I believe that each day we wake up to its unique color, sound, image or smell. But in my personal level, I’d like to remember this summer as the time when my beloved Umma (Mama) had passed away 30 years ago, leaving me her incredibly soft and warm hand in my grasp, which has been burning like eternal candlelight in my memory.

Last but not least, it’s been a year since my website, Your Sentimental Stranger, was launched, and I extend my special thanks to Earthlink Web Maintenance and other talented members for their wonderful services.

Dear Readers, thank you so much for your visit and I hope you enjoy occasional moments of quiet pleasure as well as the flowers of life plucked from my little garden of writing.

Again, thank you so very much and I wish you a glorious season in excellent health and peace!

Most gratefully,
Your Sentimental Stranger
August 2015
© Therese Young Kim


San Diego Sun over Ihop porch, San Diego
Tea & Pottery House (Sam Hwa Ryung) Insadong, Seoul

Hanok (Traditional
Korean
Home)Latticed Windows, The Folk Village Museum,
Seoul


Pink Orchid, La Figueroa Hotel, Los Angeles

Village Guardian Spirits, The Folk Village Museum,
Seoul

Village Shrine, The Folk Village Museum, Seoul

Grass Growing
under the Eaves, The Folk Village Museum, Seoul


Terrace Behind Latticed Window, Insadong, Seoul


Flower & Garden Statue Shop, Insadong, Seoul


Kimchi & Soysauce Jars, The Folk Village Museum,
Seoul


Palace Wall, Duksoo Palace, Seoul


Summer Window, Volga Restaurant, Insadong, Seoul


Hanok Tea Room, Insadong, Seoul

Pavillion on the Pond, Changduk Palace, Seoul

Hanok Tea House, Seoul

Hanok Rooms & Floors, The Folk Village Museum, Seoul

The Other Canary, Volga Restaurant, Insadong, Seoul

A dancing racoon, Central Park


Photo Journal from my Journey Home in Seoul and more;

September 2015 © Therese Young Kim


St. Thérèse of Lisieux

(Celebrating the Winter's Spell © Therese Young Kim)



Ode to the Oak

River of Time

Your Sentimental Stranger


Copyright © Therese Young Kim.


"It is a cool, crisp Fall/Winter day, with the North Star shining so brightly in the night sky, twinkling like a tiny spark, lighting the path to an old/new reality. Here I stand, wrapped in the peaceful silence of the moment, blanketed by that deep, wonderful feeling of being protected and loved, much like the way a baby or a young child feels when cradled in his/her Mother's or Father's arms." From "A Christmas Reflection - JUST BE" Written by Leanore T. Anastasio. December 2017





From the Poetry Project c/o St. Mark's Church open reading, November 30, 2015, New York City. Poems were written and read by Therese Young Kim. Video recording by: Nadine Matthews Copyright by Therese Young Kim



Kisaeng Girl in Outdoor Hat
Courtesy of Hyunam Publishing Co.
See NAYOUNG’S JOURNEY



Dear Readers, your questions or comments posted here will be kindly honored.

Thank you.


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