The Irrevocable Past

Drama – “Nine: Nine Time Travels”

One of the Korean dramas that I remember the most is “Nine: Nine Time Travels”. Though there are many dramas that travel through time, but this one is particular in that there are conditions: nine times, 30 minutes at a time, and only 20 years back into the past. The dramatic tension, the unforeseen circumstances and the twists that arise from these conditions were the essence of this drama. And above all, the prospect of whether the protagonist will ultimately find their love, or become a love that was never meant to be, kept you coming back for more.

When the protagonist returns to the past to change the present, there is a factor which could not be anticipated in the present. When you have changed someone else’s fate for you or your family, it sets off a countless chains of unpredictable events. This is because the life of one person lies upon a line of continuity with other people. It was a drama that begged the question of whether a different present as a result of changing our or someone else’s past, would indeed make us happier.

People commonly say that ‘past is a history, now is a present, and future is a mystery.’ What we can change is the person I am today, seen through the history of the all the past me that’s come thus far. And through my thoughts and actions done today, given as a present, I can predict the mysterious future me. Tickets to the past, tickets to the future, anyone can get tickets for time travel. The choice is up to you, here today.

As a person continues to age, they travel not into the future, but to the past. This is because the future gets shorter, while the past is gradually rounding up to a finished work of history. Some, like cows, ruminate through this work of history to find regrets anew, and wallow morosely. Others look to the future, and challenge history with the hope of “Continuing to plant my apple trees even if I knew the world would end tomorrow”. What should be changed through history isn’t someone else’s fate but the self in the present, and if I can change, the world changes. The only thing that I can change is I.

The most memorable scene from the aforementioned drama “Nine: Nine Time Travels” is from the final travel through time. The protagonist, who’d tried to transform the fate of them and their family, becomes trapped in their final travel, and thus is unable to return to their lover. It was truly a scene that caused the audience to despair as they watched the final incense burn out with but a strand of hope. The protagonist had wanted to return to the past to bring his father back and recreate the happy family he remembered as a child, but in the end the past cannot be revoked and when invoked, he ultimately becomes trapped within it.

Each of us writes our own history within the amount of time granted to us. Living in a dependent society, we may be able to affect those who are connected with us, but not control their time and fate to our whims. When you just patiently and steadily write your passages, happiness just dyes right through over time. The history of a nation is the same. When you try to rewrite a history that’s already passed, countless sacrifices and innumerable unanticipated variables come about one after another, like the potato vines. Even an irrevocable and dishonorable past, when acknowledge and embraced, sets foundation for a shining future. Our parents’ history is theirs, and my history is my own. When my future shines, my parents’ history shines with it.

It isn’t that I lack the genuine compassion for President Park – who is almost the same age as I, and thus lived through the same period of time – that her supporters show. The history of her father was an immense influence to my life; her history is affecting my life right now, and I know because I have seen her history like I see my own. Though I haven’t a clue what the president does during her free time under the blue roof, but I did hear she reads enthusiastically. In my opinion, just to relieve the stress from the palace, you must leave the palace often. The fear of height finds immediate relief upon descent. I would suggest that the president watch some dramas, attend a concert, and maybe watch a comedy program. If she is able to take jests and laugh with the audience in LTE comedy news and the likes, she would feel like a part of the whole. I’d also love it if she’d open her ears to various news headlines and maybe check out the social media for feedbacks sometime than only heed the trusty words of the ‘doorknob trio.’ Then, the very obvious truth that “Bird flies with both the left and the right wings” will make itself known.

Marie Hong/Chief Editorial Staff

Translation: Jung In Kim