有. 時. 宿. 命: A Time for Rooftop Prince Love


300 years…and I'll still love you… forever. 

It is cheesy, words we've heard too many times in dramas, movies, songs, even for some in RL.  But to throw in another cliche, it has to be seen to believe. The surprisingly perfect ultimate episode of Rooftop Prince.  Those cliched words have never been said so devastatingly sweet on the subject of bereavement.  Even my tears, are sweet, nth bitter.  It's not stopping any time soon, but it's a most lovely feeling when I witness our favorite, simplest intangible thing: love.

.

I am not the only one screaming my undying love for 300 years+ of this hopelessly flawed but crazily unexpectedly moving at hour-11 drama.  But it's a first for me.  I wont live to witness my love forever 4 RTP, but I've been living with this swelling in my heart that can only be quantified as the undying love for a little drama that is such a touching odyssey of love transcending time and space.

I did drop RP @ ep17.  It's not odd fr my track record, and if you've been following the drama, chance is you would be tempted numerous times that ep alone.  I followed through with the thought, to savage what I love rabidly about Show and I don't want all those cute, lovely feelings to be lost forever.   I need them fluffy feels, with me, always. 

I laid over in Tennessee to pay a short visit to my Aunt who can't attend the funeral and 2012 continues to be that kind of year when anything to do with me, ever so remotely is Surreal.  I've never been to my Aunt's house by the lake, as I stepped into her hallway I saw my embarrassing brushwork as a 15 year old. She 'commissioned' sth for her new house back then after the passing of her husband, back when I was crazily addicted to calligraphy, I wrote: 有. 時. 宿. 命. It's not normal usage (I think, I'm not well versed enough in Zen Buddhism, nor idioms/4 character phrases) It can be parsed as: Time. Fate; Or Uji and Destiny….and a few dozens more interpretations, even the individual characters are opened to many translations:  Have/exist/at; Time;  Predestined/Settled/Past/Place/Lodging; Fate/Life.  Every Thing has its time, its place, its existence.   I literally was frozen on the spot, aghast.  

Uncle was 14 when I was born, in the middle of his rebellious stage but cryingbabyme snapped him out of it.  He picked up fishing as a strange hobby and as with everything he set his mind on, he's the midas touch.  He would manip his friends into a catch of the day contest after school, the freshest groupers/red snappers for my homemade fish congee babyfood.  A precious anecdote from Uncle's bff at wake.  有時 is one of my fav 'word', it has the simplest visceral conveyance of one of the most incomprehensible philosophical concept I find hard to grasp in any other language, never in 2 easy elemental words for starters.  Every thing exists in its destined time and space, even time, or space, itself. It denotes the existence, it also signifies a finality…even when we're crying, there is an finite time allotted. Same with laughter.  It, like all things will end…yet the passage of time can't deny its existence.  The oxygen we breathed any specific moment existed as a 'dead'/transformed CO2 by-product to possibly an old growth tree living for a thousand years, the atoms might have existed since the big bang and we in turn consume the oxygen and exhale our unwanted CO2. To Live and Die, to Die and Live.  And when we extrapolate it to love, which we are all so unanimously sure to be present everywhere we look, yet it's hard to prove its quantitative existence…..it is the concept of time.   I can never be sure if writer is heavily playing homage to Avatamsaka Sutra/華嚴經/Flower (Lotus) adorned Splendid and Solemn Sutra: time and space are illuminated by Awakening/Presence of Buddha/Love. We spend our time, ie our existence, to strive for the illumination every waking moment. 

Or is he a devoted Christian basing a drama on a Bible verse?

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
 a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.

                          — Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I love the lyricality of the verse in Chinese more, wayyy more:

天下萬物各有其時,凡事也必有定期。
生有時,死有時;
栽種有時,拔除有时;
杀戮有时,醫治有時;
拆毀有時,建造有時;
哭有時,笑有時;
哀慟有時,雀躍有時;
拋石有時,堆石有時;
懷抱有時;不懷抱有時;
尋找有時,遺失有時;
保存有時;捨弃有時;
撕裂有時;縫補有時;
靜默有時;說話有時;
愛有時,恨有時;
戰爭有時;和平有時。

       ——傳道書3:1-8

Back to my rambling:

By 9pm CST, 7pm my circadian rhythm, Aunt is sound asleep. I'm alone in a HUGE house.  I streamed QIHM 11, 12 for a sure dose of perfection/sweet nightcap.  And all I felt was: okay, good…. deteriorating to lackluster, with a meh aftertaste.   I hate welcoming the rant monster in the wee hours.  To me, it was 2 hours of mostly bloated fanservice, not much substance.

By then it was just past 9pm my internal clock, still restless with an additional midge of grump. 

As a last resort, there was the finale of RP, 'surprisingly good', I've been told.  I don't mind the spoiling in this case when I've stopped to care, and a lot of us have pieced 90% of what's going to happen in 20 correctly.   I just want to find out if my guess was spot on but it's not without struggle the possibility of sitting through another hour of mehhhh.   That was Thursday.  And every waking hour since, I am fonder and fonder of the drama because of the ultimate episode alone.  The hour is written with such an overflowing of heart, I'm sure writer has it written in his mind last 6 years, and in hindsight everything is a better fit with this satisfying end chapter, with so many thoughtful details thrown in. I can't help but wonder what is art imitating life and what is pure fiction… I wonder if WriterLee's wife made a most delicious omurice. It's not hard to imagine he's uttered ParkHa's exact words “A-are you gone? Can you hear me?”“I sh-should have said goodbye. I should have said take care…” in his mind over and over again last 6 years.  An awakened TaeYong ordered an apple smoothie and he's hit by her apple in the Big Apple by a shot of Fate in ep1.  Dazed by the visual of her sweet concoction, she is caught up in the devastation of randomly missing her sweet-toothed crown prince.  All these little details r woven to a narrative perfection for what writer Lee has set out to say clearly from the get go, inasmuch I'm sure I'll always love this little drama, the little drama that turns out to be an explosive firework of Heart, the unexpectedly perfect bowl of chicken soup for my soul.  We can guess 90% of it flaws and logic holes, everything, but it's the 10% of the expression of deepest love from a husband to his wife that will stay with me forever.

Quantitatively drama has more flaws than merits, but the flaws never reached the point of offensive, things are clumsy and silly at times but it breezes on, as if drama itself is aware of the embarrassment.  The evils r cardboard cutouts plot devices and the corporate battles r to service the modern screen time, sth to build a parallel world…… to facilitate writer's ep20 lyrical opus.  The drama is an ode, poignant and emotional, in memoriam of his wife, from the bottom of a bereaved husband's heart years in making dedicating a piece of his work, to speak to her.  It's a craft he knows best, I'm sure the most difficult poetry  fr writerLee, using his forte in slapstick humor, his most capable form of expression to speak to his love through the piece.  The words and messages he must've wished he has more time to keep telling her but we all know in mourning there is never enough time.

I know beforehand Mr. writer wrote this after a 6 year break from scriptwriting, mourning the death of his wife (I read it in baidu bar, have no idea the source, but that's the lens I'm stuck with watching all drama long).  Bad Family was one of my earlier kdrama love, and the quirky hilarious vibe that will move you unexpectedly under the hilarity is still here and strong in RP.  But to put his signature quirky slapstick dark comedy in a time-traveling fluff which in essence is sth as gut-wretching and loaded as a bereavement… there will be huge obstacles.  I'm sure Writer-nim is aware of the logic holes and flaws he can't surpass…but at the end of the day, nth is a hindrance, even in this stifling creativity live-shoot K TVdrama format.  More importantly he has sth to say and what he said is a most moving beautiful eulogy with understandable sobs and hiccups.

To Writer Lee: 
I'm sure she can hear you, Sir.  I can feel every genuine emotion you poured in and there is no way she can miss sth this powerful and beautiful.  She'll remember the imprint of your love through lifetimes and you can live on with the lovely dream of being together reincarnation after reincarnation with your souls intact as one.  She can hear your, 'I love you forever.'  Love does live on, we have no substantiating proof for show but we are each a living, breathing, walking testament. 

A perfect spoilerish fanvid of 19/20 to the OST of Miss Ripley.  Be warned, those busted floodgates r not gonna close.

Park YooChun, you amazing thing, it's not like I don't have a very huge soft spot for you to begin with but you just have to be a growing perfection from ep to ep, seeing how you can push to out-best yourself in times of terrible grief, transforming your devastation into a powerful most heartfelt performance. I have no words.  I'd say you bring out the best of Han JiMin.  I owe you at least 10 thousand more words of praises and flailing but I've never had a harder time gushing.  I guess when it hits our guts most viscerally glorious, we truly lost the ability to breathe, let alone the capacity of thoughts.
This thing called thinking, just as you think more, the more you have to think of,  the best thinking is to not think at all.—ChiSan, Rooftop Prince
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12 thoughts on “有. 時. 宿. 命: A Time for Rooftop Prince Love

    1. All I want to do is rewatch 20 whenever I open my laptop, nth else.

      I missed 3 eps and still I dun feel like I missed a thing. I watched the OTP/J4 bits of 19 and it’s actually very touching as well.

      Tbh, I’m still in shock how emotional I am, now 3+days after.

      1. Yeah it really affected me hard. I wouldn’t have expected that. Sometimes I am deeply moved by stories about love that lasts longer than one lifetime, but it has to be told right to really get through to me. This one did.

  1. In the very last scene, I felt that, despite Tae-yong’s composure, his soul recognized Park Ha and was crying out in joy at their reunion, and Park Ha saw this, hence her seeing the prince’s happy tears. Everything’s just gorgeous and perfect and…

    brb sobbing

    I didn’t know the writer’s wife died. Wow, no wonder the parting scenes and reunion scenes made me bawl. These felt so personal and real, just as the relationships in this drama were.

    1. Yes, the whole point writer-nim is hammering is Gak=TY, what vessel the soul is residing in is not as important as the existence of a love so true. Even when we are not a believer of reincarnation, in the context of this ode fr writer to his late wife, it makes sense if you have a love so deep, and is literally mourning your OTP for the rest of your life. In the case of Gak after he’s back to Joseon, there maybe a extra ‘incentive’ for the soul to stay intact and ‘reincarnate’ with the imprint of that love. Love is what makes living seems like dying if your loved one is no longer with you, and it’s exactly what negates death as a finality and be a form of living if the love fr your OTP stays strong even after your passing. His soul stays intact because he needs to meet his OTP through 300 years of reincarnation. That very moment, even if it’s not rational, I felt it went full circle as in TY felt that instant attraction to PK in NYC because of Gak’s undying love for BuYong/ParkHa after he’s time-warped odyssey back to Joseon….and IF Gak can has snippets of vision of TY drowning, TY must be able to be channeled some of Gak’s experience during his ordeal, even if he may not be aware of its existence deep in his…id? IT actually makes me a cynic of Love at First Sight, a faithful in this case.

  2. I think everyone wishes for a love like YG and BH’s, one that will stand the test of time. What a beautiful story of love between the writer and his late wife. I’m sure it was a homage to her memory and that she is waiting for him 300 years from now.

    1. I’m not sure if I want a love exactly like theirs. Fate is dealing them a painful hand to build a love so strong. IF writer-nim is using this drama as a self-therapy, I wonder if he has regrets as in not expressing his love when she’s alive enough? Or didn’t realize he loves her so much till she’s no longer with him?

      I’d rather have sth I’m having now, a normal relationship with a person I can see myself growing old with and I know IF either one of us passes on before the other, the love wont dissipate along with our flesh and bones. At least I can’t see an alternative of me stop loving my hubby if he’s dead. haha sorry for the TMI.

      But in a way it hammers in the point of being in a relationship is a gift that should be nurtured and treasured, and it’s not pure luck, we need to work hard for it and as a ‘reward’ we can cultivate a relationship as soulmates that may transcend this lifetime…if we’re good and deserving of each other that is.

  3. Thank you for your beautiful comment & reflections on life.

    Yeah, I know. Out of all the episodes. I only saved episode 19 & 20. I was going to delete them after watching since I’d already deleted the rest from my hard drive. But after viewing the last 2, I knew I couldn’t bring myself to delete them. Episode 20 was sublime and ep19 was overture to that.

    Yuchun, you are one amazing human being. What you must have gone through during this time is unfathomable to me. As they say, souls are eternal. Yet I still wish my dad is still alive and well so that we can actually have heart to heart conversations from time to time. I don’t know much about what he had gone through growing up during the turbulent time in Japanese history.

    Oh, well.. My thoughts are wondering about…

    Big hugs to my favorite GF 🙂

  4. Hugz mookie. Hope you are doing fine dear.

    Finally i got time to watch ep 19 and 20, love it. The last 2 eps were the best. The drama hasn’t been flawless, but it doesn’t matter as i still love it. Actually i even plan to buy the DVD when it’s out hehe.

    Btw, i started watching JDG’s drama, hmmm..not sure how i feel about the drama, there are something bothering me. I wish ms writer do not make a copy of sega.

    1. HUGZ Kim! I’m doing better, thank you! How are you?

      It is a keeper just on 19,20 alone and I honestly do love the adorbs and slapstick in the earlier eps, there are a few eps of hiccups but emotionally I’m sold. It moves me beyond just the romance like nth is offering this moment.

      Everything about AGD bugs me for the minutes I tortured myself. I need a shockingpink sticky note on screen reminding me to stay away from writers who just gloat in their own glory and expect me to as well EVERY SCENE. I know she even cheekily pulled a scene st fr FOL the movie with the 4 ahjusshis as rascal highschoolers. KMJ was pushing it as one highschooler in FOLdrama, JDG and gang look fine but every bit their 40+ age, with their abuse of bb cream, as 18 year olds?!…*sigh*

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