Do you long to spread your wings as far as you can in the middle of an overly populated metropolis? Do you wish to witness the expanse of empyrean in its dark satin embroidered in sequins of red and gold? This experience may suit you, or not. Welcome to Seongsu Bridge.
A Brief Introduction to Seongsu Bridge
Through the cold of night, through the sheer darkness above the river, through the bridge Seongsu. Attempt a stroll that leads you into another dimension of Seoul. A dimension where the universe suddenly dawns upon you, enlightening your true sense of coordination in it.
Due reasons of exercise, I often walk back home along Seongsu bridge. It is a bridge that once underwent a catastrophic collapse reaping thirty-two souls in 1994. Now, built more sound than ever, or so they say. Nevertheless, I frequently risk myself crossing it on foot, as so many people of Seoul do.
The Perilous Path Across Seongsu Bridge
Vehicles pass at ruthless speeds, while the portion of the bridge designated to you, a lonely pedestrian, is only a narrow walk. First, it intimidates you, no, almost scares you. But march on, for there awaits a surprise.
As you reach the center of the bridge, you will notice an emergency phone booth for people who dare to join the thirty-six poor souls of 1994. This point of the bridge is where you may wish to halt and take a keen observation of your surroundings – despite the chilling caress of the dead on your bare visage.
What do you see? What do you feel in the absence of nearby daunting artificial structures daring to reach the sky, always distracting your righteous perception of reality, the real universe?
The Marvelous Views Amid Darkness
I saw and felt the dark universe almost at my arm’s reach while my already wobbling feet from the contact of the dead nearly tumbled me over into their realm, deep into the river, to accommodate their entourage.
Hypnotized by the scene above, awestruck by its vicinity, all traces of man-made artifices simply vanished.
How disillusioned we are of our own creations; how, in truth, we are just another part of the vast universe when all man-made things simply fade with time. Could there truly be a precise and accurate measure or definition of ourselves? If so, would it mean anything in the face of infinity? Filled with other vague wandering inquiries, I turned my eyes downward to the endless stream of golds, city lights sparkling brightly as they flowed alongside the gloomy Han river.
It is a beauty that only reveals herself in presence of the moon, exquisitely limited to a district of a stiflingly massive population. Certainly, the phenomenon is an unexpected achievement of civilization that may have even impressed the honorary above, the creator of the world.
City lights in cohorts of millions dazzle what otherwise have been a mere sorrowful remnant of heaven quietly moving toward displeasing salt water. Just as much our beings may be termed as another worthless speckle in the middle of the universe, without our spangles, what a pathetic, desolate, and destitute the whole universe will be. Thus, I resumed the stroll toward the end of the bridge.
At the end of the bridge, fluttering leaves of trees welcomed my safe return, then the familiar scent of burnt gasoline, street signals, fellow pedestrians, and eventually the assurance of solid earth beneath retrieved my spirit as it was a river ago. How to process the whole experience? I have yet to digest. Will there be an absolute conclusion? I doubt it. But I will remember those looming in the darkness below the sparkling lights that we call civilization.
Seongsu Bridge (성수대교) Address: Han River, Oksu-Dong, Seongdong-Gu, Seoul Korean Address: 서울 성동구 옥수동
Looking for things to do once you have crossed Seongsu Bridge? Click Here for 6 self-rewarding things to do in the neighborhood!