By Jeki Trimarstuti.

My secret place is at the top of building!

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Photo taken from Hallym University Dormitory, Chuncheon

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Photo taken from Kangwon National University Dormitory, Chuncheon

Well, it is not precisely at the top of building. But I enjoy seeing the landscape of city from high up. At the top of buildings, towers, hills, mountainous, or even inside the cable car, being at the top means to put our self beyond the land. Somehow, it seems giving us power, a moment where it seems we can conquer anything in this world. Here, in my secret place, I hear my mind yelling: “I can conquer this city!”

Like I said before, the power of conquer, is probably one of the reasons why people build high towers, numerous pillars, and gigantic buildings in our civilization. It is an architectural symbol that defines the the power of space. In other words, the desire to feel a sense of power has driven us to feel the power of space. Why is this so important? Because when people think that they can conquer something, it triggers the sense of belonging within their selves. This collective sense of belonging has brought about the power to dream, to build, to exist, and to make a sign in our civilization.

The next question is, how can this sign be easily recognized?

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Photos taken from Cheongpyeongsa Temple, Chuncheon

Chuncheon is not only characterised by high rise buildings. The city also finds its character in temples. There are some Buddhist temples that are still visited frequently by people in Chuncheon and also visitors from other cities. One of my favourite and the prettiest among the temples is called Cheongpyeongsa Temple at Soyang Dam. It is about 30 minutes by bus from the city center, followed by a 15-minute boat ride from Soyang Dam. This temple is also one of the favourite places for hiking lovers because it is located 3 kilometres away from the port, complete with challenging steps before one can finally reach this temple. Yes, it is located at the slope of mountain, high from the shore and away from the crowds.

The most unforgettable story from this temple is the legend about a princess who wanted to dedicated herself to praying in this temple because her love cannot keep his promise to her and finally died, struck by lightning. This legend is quite popular among the visitors. However, it is not this story that motivates visitors to come here. Rather, it is about the silence and the height that this temple grounds offer. Here, a sense of privacy is inspired by the silence and the steps that bring you to the temple. If it is true that through walking people are also meditating, then what you get after being at the top is not the feeling of exhaustion, but a feeling of satisfaction – to have a sense of empowerment, and to bring this power in uniting our minds and hearts. This is what I call the power of space.

To me, a secret place is not about how well it is recognized by other people, but it is about how people come to understand its secret by being and realizing their self as a part of this place.

Here I am, in my secret place, at the top of building and mountain. Where is your secret place?