It is not easy to reflect back on myself in a busy and noisy modern society. Even if our bodies and minds are tired, the world keeps moving every day. The time to work, eat, and sleep takes up the full 24 hours. It is not easy to have my own quiet time in this life. Even having a quiet time of contemplation and meditation has now become something that must be done consciously. But wherever we go, we can’t get away from the noise of people, the sound of camera shutters, the sound of cars on the side of the road.
In the summer of 2020, GreenLab opened in front of Seoul Forest in Seongsu-dong. GreenLab is a unique cafe that proposes various realities for moments when you need rest in your daily life. Inside the 3.5-story old building, the entry-level floor consists of a cafe and a flower shop, the second floor is a studio, and the third floor is a tea room and a rooftop garden. GreenLab is conducting several programs suitable for various spatial compositions. There are programs such as “Enjoying My Own Seoul Forest” where you can relax while looking at Seoul Forest and a “Rooftop Tea Room,” a seasonal tea ceremony experience.
GreenLab’s representative offering is “Enjoying My Own Seoul Forest.” It is an opportunity to sit on a sofa for an hour and relax with seasonal drinks while looking at the trees of Seoul Forest through a glass window. In addition to drinks, a small bouquet of flowers is served with letter paper, which gives you time to write letters. On the next page, there is a review of the two reporters’ experience of “Enjoying My Own Seoul Forest.”
Reporter Kim Yun Jung
I feel anxious and empty if my cell phone leaves my hand or is not available for a while. At the beginning of the program, my hands felt unnatural and nervous like an uncomfortable person. Interestingly, I began to feel relaxed as I had a cup of tea while looking at the scenery of Seoul Forest reflected in the open glass window in the sunlight. I spent time writing letters to my parents, and I was able to think about my future in a calm atmosphere. I could have time to think for myself. The first time for anyone can be difficult. I have also lived thinking that I don’t need time to relax. GreenLab’s “Enjoying My Own Seoul Forest” program was an activity that gave me time to concentrate and I think it could be a time to find relaxation and calm in a busy modern society.
Reporter Choi Bo Youn
One of my hobbies is to handwrite lyrics or poetry. So I took some letter writing paper from the basket as soon as I arrived at GreenLab studio. While writing by hand, I can think about anything. It feels like emptying my mind. As usual, I was transcribing a part of a poem that was already written on the paper without any thoughts. Then I saw a name written on the corner of the paper. It was the poet, Lee Sung Bok. Last year, I read one of his books titled “Your Agony Cannot Make One Single Leaf Green." I remember his name since the title of the book is really impressive. Yes, no one’s pain can make the leaves green. But...How green are all of those leaves outside the window! Those trees cannot be green in all seasons. Still, in this late summer, right before autumn comes, they are glowing with their beautiful deep green color. I found that I, in my youth, can also glow as much as the trees do. Why was worried about fading into yellow this early? Every time I stand in front of Mother Nature, my woes seem so insignificant. I am a mere mortal for sure. And that, to me, is the best comfort. I don’t have to be someone great, and I don’t need to be ashamed of it. These realizations are what I got out of my time at GreenLab.
If you don’t know how or where to rest, Pharos would recommend having a peaceful time at GreenLab on your own. It is okay not to be used to enjoying silence. You will be one step closer to the “Ritual Life” with the programs of GreenLab. Consciously make some time for yourself. It is a way to love yourself.
76th Reporter • CHOI BO YOUN • firstname.lastname@example.org
75th Reporter • KIM YUN JUNG • email@example.com