In Seoul, traveling with (e)motion-time

For much of my life I have made my home in the country, in park-lands as a ranger and firefighter where I track the flitting of birds, the flaming of forests. Yet in my travels — to reach the faraway and un-crowded places that are the gravitational pull of my planetary search — I am becoming a man of the cities. These are my gateways to wild places but I am also drawn to the motions of people and traffic so strange from my own.

Today, in Seoul in the Republic of Korea, I’ve sought to make my place in a city’s motion. Because I am a tool-user I have cheated time and captured motion with (e)motion, the electronic tools embedded in my phone. And as the time-twists collect I have learned one key emotional lesson: changing time can change us. I see myself both fast and slow and wonder, if I can slow time with a tiny tool like a computerized smart phone, what else can we do to the otherwise pleasant passing of time.

Exhibit #1: For my first exhibit of (e)motion-time I observe compressed time from a fourth floor coffee shop (Coffee with a View) overlooking the military base and a key intersection near Insadong. Which shows me that some lanes are slower than others, and that pedestrians seem to run (wisely) from vehicles.

[embed in progress — technical issues]

Exhibit #2: As observed in traffic, there are zones of calm in fast motion. Here, outside a train station, a crew cleans the stairs decorated with an extra-large human. And the only calm and collected human, consistent among the buzz, is another photographer, intrigued by the large image and the people cleaning this giant.

Exhibit #3: At my WWOOF guest house in Bukshan village, my host Helen looks at something hovering in her flowers and asks, “A bird.” I say no, it’s a hummingbird moth. And I try to follow it, in slow motion. For the first few seconds I’m too slow but then I catch up with the moth and realize, even in the quickest city one can find the plentiful slowness of the natural.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.