On the way to the river a nice, neat, dignified old lady passed me and said “I’m on my way to go ‘beol'” which means…you know…um the way a kid would say go number two. Of course we went UP the river a ways, and around the bend… Just a note: here you tell each other where you are going and what you are doing to be friendly. Walking around the neighborhood we say “going for a walk” to each person we meet. The old lady wasn’t crazy, just being friendly and polite.
This encounter immediately made me think of a quote in a book I’ve been reading.
“Goldfish bowls are made to see through. Its inhabitants are not intimidated if they are watched while eating, swimming, fighting, or defecating. Is it possible…to live such transparent lives? …The need for, and the enjoyment of, isolation is one of the sociological factors that hinder communication. ‘…we build fences, mountain cabins, buy boats, and campers, take trips–anything to get away from it all. Isolation doesn’t always foster communication.’ There is no immunization shot that can be given…against the need for privacy, but recognizing this need and facing the reality of goldfish-bowl living in most third world countries can help…”
Something I’ve realized about having people all up in my business is that no one is standoffish or closed off. Everyone greets each other. People are friendly. People help each other. Neighbors share with each other.. They share their fruit, their corn, their sweet potatoes, their plants, their bamboo, their MUSIC, their opinions, their time, anything their neighbor needs.
Oftentimes I just want to shut my doors to all the sharing. But that would end the communicating. And why else are we here?