Monday, 16 August 2010
Seven people or things that changed my life: (5) Suze
I saw Suze three times after that Korean autumn - the next year she came to London and we spent some days together - she liked my children, who were five and ten then - and I went to Amsterdam twice and surprised her both times with a knock on her door in Warmoestraat. Ten years passed between the two Amsterdam visits. Suze told me, weaving the message somehow into the thread of our conversations in Seoul, that I was allowed to do things, that I could do things, that I could change things for myself and for other people. I hadn't known this before the Korean autumn, but after knowing Suze I knew it for myself. She had studied medicine and modern dance, and she wanted to learn about Korean art. Later she managed a cafe in Amsterdam. She could do anything she liked.
Suze died two years ago. She was two years younger than me. The only picture of her I had I sent to her partner Harmen. In it she has her eyes closed against the wind that was making our cheeks sting that day, and she is standing on the harbour wall at Inchon.
Goodbye Suze. I think of you when a cold wind blows, and I remember our Korean autumn and how different things were afterwards.