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“Wandering in a foreign land”

6 March, 2008

I can relate to this, from James Park

Sometimes we find ourselves set at a distance
from the world of our daily concerns.
We begin to see the familiar as if it were new and strange.
We may seem to be wandering in a foreign land.
We notice things in a new light:

         What are all these people so busy doing?
         Where are they going in such a hurry?
         Do they ever notice the ridiculousness of their behavior?
         Why do they regard their activities as valuable and important?
         What difference would it make if this day had not happened?
         Sometimes the world seems like a colony of ants,
         each individual endlessly repeating his behavior until he dies.
         No one asks about the ultimate meaning.
         Each merely continues faithfully to fulfill his little function.
         Would it be so great a loss (and a loss to whom)
         if the whole ant colony were wiped out in an instant
         —like a distant city of which we have never heard
         being swallowed up by the earth?
         What is a city for, anyway?
         It is a cluster of buildings where people live and reproduce.
         They hold jobs and live off one another.
         But is it not circular, adding up to precisely zero in the end?

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