Monday, October 16, 2006

siren song

Yes-- in the early afternoon, South Korea had itself a drill. Jet (or jets) in the air, sirens in the ears-- it reminded me of the 1990s. A peek over at the Marmot's Hole shows people reacting with varying degrees of nervousness and stoicism; no one seems truly to be freaking, and there's no reason to. If war breaks out, everyone will know pretty damn quickly in this hyperconnected country. Obviously, war hasn't broken out.

As I've written before: if war does commence while I'm in country, my first priority will be the safety of relatives and friends, to see them off and make sure they're at least headed in the right direction-- southward. If that means hanging around long enough to see some action (which in my case will probably mean being gutted by the first rampaging NK soldier to round a corner), then so be it. This country is worth fighting and dying for, even if some of its citizens (and certain expats among them) might feel otherwise.

It's not bravado. While I'm afraid of many things, including the millions of unpleasant ways a human being can die, the prospect of death itself holds no fear for me. Death is just the next step. Perhaps it's a step into nothing; perhaps it's a step into something completely other than what we know. I can't say it matters much to me. All we have is this moment, and the realization that we're tiny cells in an infinitely greater process-- cells privileged to enjoy enough consciousness to glimpse reality in its simultaneous manyness and oneness.


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