Sunday, September 7, 2008

Beware of Questions

I've often pondered the question of what would happen if my grocery bag broke on the way home. Silly me! I should know better than to ask questions - too often they lead to answers. Like today.

Yup, I got just a few steps out the door of Lotte Mart and the shopping bag broke. Here in Korea, we have to pay for plastic shopping bags, and even though it's only about 550 won (roughly 50 cents), I don't like to waste money on extra bags. I try to do without the bag altogether whenever I can. So, I made up my mind that no matter how hard it was to transport those groceries home on my bike, I wasn't going to buy a second bag.

My parents will recall that I have a particular gift for tying knots. I utilized this ability and made enough knots to precariously hold the bag together all the way back to my apartment. I even made it up the four flights of stairs without the bag bursting, although it certainly wanted to. There's a certain satisfaction in knowing that I saved fifty cents and a bit of plastic. Plus, it was kinda fun "living on the edge," seeing if I could make it from Lotte to home without a grocery avalanche.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"