As the deadline for this project fast approached, I realized how foolish it had been for someone like me - unable to see ahead even a month into my own mundanity - to sign up for a project that paints the greater future in an imagined narrative. Turns out that this fatal mismatch between writer and project was the chief reason for my procrastination.
Under pressure of the days leading up to the deadline, I found that the wildest thing I could hope to fantasize about for the future - beyond my personal evasion of failure, obscurity, or demise - was the reunification of Korea. As a Korean American born in the States to parents who survived the war, I've felt all the more hurt and dismayed by the continuing separation of Korea precisely because of my distance from the nation and the liberties I enjoy within the bounds of my own United States.
Today, I'm just a wannabe freelancer, living on a shoestring at age 35 and talking big about big ideas. But obviously, I've put myself in this ludicrous, precarious position in a crusade to "do something" someday, and "make a difference." Only time, continued thought, and protracted desperation might reveal how...
In the meantime, I have constructed a super long letter from the vantage point of myself as a grandmother informing my grandchild about the history of the newly reunited country.
I wrote hastily and liberally about seemingly implausible events such as nuclear warfare, World War III, Trump as president, reunification of Korea, and world peace. I decided to do so earnestly and without shame. I wrote "from my feelings" like an everyday person - that is, off the cuff and without deep research into or even precise knowledge of current events or the predictions political "experts." I cannot lie and say that I don't hope to see at least the results reflected in this letter, if by a much different process, in my lifetime.
Today, as I submit my contribution to the Fiction Project of the year recently gone by, I can also say that I wouldn't put it past reality for any of these things to actually happen, either. There is room to fear or hope absolutely anything in the future. That's why I remain without a crystal ball for even the simplest of things, and that's why I can muse clumsily and inexpertly about this issue close to my heart, and to the hearts of many other Korean people.
It would make me glad if like minded readers looked past the amateur trappings of my creation to find the innocent wishes lying beneath.
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