Age does not count, after all.
I guessed that Mother was unwell when Father came by himself toward the end of last year, though he insisted that it was only because of the weather. After a little while, I was watching his back walking out the prison gate. The space a few steps behind, where Mother always had been, was empty. I made conscious effort to avoid ominous concerns, asserting to myself that it must be nothing more than one of the slight colds familiar to her. But when I learned later from my brother that it was a serious problem, she began appearing in my dreams night after night.
Mother in my dreams has always been fair and young. But after waking up this morning, I did a little arithmetic and was surprised to realize that she is in fact a very old person, aged 76 years. I have not been aware in what severe ways these ten-odd years, with her son in this prison, should have been affecting her mind and body. That is why I have been thinking of myself as a young man of twenty seven, and of her in her usual health. The delusion, when uncovered, became a cane whipping my stupid mind without mercy.


"언제 죽어도 나이는 아까울께 없다"

세전(歲前)에 아버님 혼자 오셨을 때 아버님께선 날씨 탓으로 돌리셨지만 저는 어머님이 몸져 누우신 줄 짐작하였습니다. 접견 마치고 혼자 소문(所門)을 나가시는 아버님을 이윽고 바라보았습니다. 아버님은 어머님과 함께 걸으실 때도 언제나 네댓 걸음 앞서 가시지만 그날은 아버님의 네댓 걸음 뒤에도 어머님이 계시지 않았습니다. 그렇더라도 설마 치레 잦은 감기몸살이겠거니 하고 우정 염려를 외면해왔습니다만 막상 형님 편에 그것이 매우 위중한 것임을 알고부터는 연일 꿈에 어머님을 봅니다.

꿈에 뵈는 어머님은 늘 곱고 젊은 어머님인데 오늘 새벽 잠깨어 새삼스레 어머님 연세를 꼽아보니 일흔여섯, '극노인'(極老人)임에 놀라지 않을 수 없었습니다. 제가 징역 들어오고 난 최근의 십수년이 어머님의 심신을 얼마나 깊게 할퀴어놓은 것인지도 모르고 제 나이를 스물일곱인 줄 알듯이, 어머님도 매양 그전처럼만 여겨온 저의 미욱함이 따가운 매가 되어 종아리를 칩니다.

<감옥으로부터의 사색> 신영복, 돌베게

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  1. 2019.06.30 09:08

    저 자살해야되는것 같습니다