Fire, the last of the elements I wish to cover in what I hope has been a curious and enjoyable 4-part series for those of you following! As a final pitch, I encourage anyone who hasn’t watched or heard much about Avatar: The Last Airbender to certainly check it out! It is a moving portrayal of human loss, struggle and power in a dynamic animated setting. These emotions are entwined in the imagination and awe of elemental powers with plenty of Buddhist and related culture flair!
SO what is the element of fire about? “Fire is the element of power, consisting of overpowering force tempered by the unflinching will to accomplish tasks and desires. However, the recently militaristic Fire Nation twisted this into Firebending being fueled by rage, hate, and anger. Firebending draws its power from the sun, and…[Firebending] is notable for its intensive attacking style and general lack of adequate defense moves, although some notable Firebenders utilize creative defensive moves…”
Anyways, as mentioned earlier, this is meant to portray South Korea’s 24-hour side, the immortal side; permanence, emotions, change, growth and perhaps loss in some respects…this is not the place to look for burning fires! (Sorry arsonists!)
As a result of this theme today I will not label my photos in the supplementary gallery (did you know I label all my photos in past galleries??), it is up to you to decide what they mean and represent. If any of you are curious however where and when they were taken in South Korea, feel free to comment away!
Take a look at these curiosities…
(yes there is a little fire at the end, but it’s one for peace, not aggression…) – Next up, mountains!
On to the next post based on my favorite elemental series, here I will look at the wonderful world of water, and what it seems to represent in Seoul and South Korea…
The city of Seoul is as malleable and remarkable just like this very element and its unique variety too! As you move through the city you can always find something to fit your needs and suit your interests, regardless of the fact you are surrounded by fairly little ethnic diversity. Just like the continuity of water, this Korean society supports and engages (mostly) rather than isolates, it all depends on how much you reciprocate and try to engage back!
So what does the element speak to exactly?
“Water is the element of change…The fighting style of Waterbending is mostly flowing and graceful, acting in concert with the environment. Waterbenders deal with the flow of energy; they let their defense become their offense, turning their opponents’ own forces against them.”
And so, seeing the ebb and flow of water here in Seoul (and lack thereof) I have had much to appreciate and reflect on…literally. Considering how crucial this substance is to our lives, we often apply little value or thought to its daily use in our modern society. Change can be good but in our current situation, it has come at a heavy cost – an increased appreciation for artificial values, short-term gain and easier lifestyles at the expense of a ever-deteriorating natural environment. Just as quickly as we came to rule this planet, we have fallen victim to our own strategies and ambitions. Drought and floods appear faster than we can predict them; even here in Seoul I bear witness to vast rivers running empty for months, cracked barren soils and calcified reservoir walls. Though we expect the climate to work out itself and solve these issues, it is not that easy – it takes two to tango and managing our resources is no different, though lets replace “dance” with “cooperate” and “balance”. Like water, lets try and move with the flow – nature that is – and reconsider the embedded value in ecology, long-term thinking and difficult solutions that support far more than just a generation.
Change can be good, lets use the energy we have to become great!