Today is Trent’s and my 10th anniversary.
To celebrate, we got inked. We got tats on our shoulder and shoulder blade. It is my husband’s first tattoo and my third, and it hurt, but we winced and held each other’s hand while our Young Life friend–a girl I’ve known for years and taken to camp and prayed with, a girl I knew when I was battling anorexia hard and just the scaffolding of a wife, a girl who is now a tattoo artist–marked our skin.
We got the Korean symbol for “Han” or “One” (for one body or flesh) but it means more than that. 한 (“han”) is the sorrow and lamenting for times past, the knowing that life is temporary. The example offered to explain the word is when a woman sees her lover off to war – she is sorrowful for his departure, but only because of the deep love that they share – for which she is grateful. It’s the human condition, being aware that things are temporary.
The root of the word comes from the Chinese character 恨 (“han”) which is composed of two radicals: the one on the left is “heart” and the one on the right is “step”. You can hear the sound of 한 in the voice of traditional Korean and Chinese singers, and it sounds very much on the verge of tears, like a sorrowful cry in nostalgia for times past.
We chose this Korean symbol because we lived in Korea for the better part of a year, teaching English, and that is when our marriage became a living, breathing organism.
Seven years ago, we would have told you we didn’t think we could make it.
(for the rest of this post, follow me over HERE to Prodigal Magazine? Thanks friends.)
**please note, there will be NO Imperfect Prose Link-Up this week, as we are on holidays. e.**