Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Near Miss

My fingers are shaking so badly that it is difficult to type right now, and my legs are so shaky that I nearly fell climbing the stairs to my apartment. Why the tremors? Well, I got closer to death/severe injury tonight than I have been in a long, long time.

Several times in the past I have remarked lightheartedly about Korean drivers. Tonight, I am devoid of humor. One of those drivers almost killed me.

I was biking home from work. As I always do when biking after dark, I waited until I had a green walk light before crossing the busy street by Lotte Mart. A large blue truck, however, decided to disregard his red light and came bearing down on me at full speed. Luckily for me, he had good brakes. I never saw him coming until he had almost hit me (since I, of course, expected everyone to stop for the red light). He stopped close enough that his headlight brushed my bicycle. Whew!

It took awhile before I could breathe normally again. I haven't been that scared in a really long time! Apparently, my body still hasn't relaxed from the shock and fear, since I am still shaking.

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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"