My friend Pat sent me this article today, along with the question, “Still want to go to Seoul?”
In the classic novel Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, the protagonist tells the tale of his steamboat voyage up the Congo River to a destination of unimaginable danger. Having to choose between unavoidable evils on his journey, he tries to pursue the lesser one, recognising that he has to be “loyal to the nightmare of (his) choice”.
The US Navy’s aircraft “supercarrier” – the USS Carl Vinson – and its accompanying fleet of warships that constitute Carrier Strike Group 1, currently steaming their way towards the Korean peninsula, is unnervingly resonant of that story.
My answer was a resounding “YES.”
As I told my friend June over coffee, it seems appropriate that I would find myself in Seoul at this juncture, as I take stock of my life so far and decide on my trajectory for the next 20 years or so, if I’m lucky enough to have time on my side.
In a worst case scenario, if something were to happen during my solo getaway next week (and if I managed to survive), I would think to myself, “This world is so screwed, but I’ve never felt more alive.”