why to go to market

You know those days, when one wakes up in Erik Satie's Gymnopédie No. 1... The best thing to do is go out, to market. The moment I entered into the bustling core, past the wall of kiosk-like shops that give the impression that there is no market through the narrow way between some of them, I was accosted by too much colour: so much is in season, and for a moment, I felt overwhelmed. But, no. That is just the first impression, and first impressions are so often beguiling.
The man who comes from the same region as some of my distant ancestors waved out to me, with a huge smile, just to say hello. Further down, more generous smiles and granny farmers stuff extra carrots into my bag. I have grey hairs, but they still insist on this ritual, saying: "So you'll grow!" Who could remain impervious to such gestures?
And then, I almost bumped into a vendor and her future-priest son, at their stall.
- How are you?
- Not waving the white flag, yet!
- Ahahaha, that's so funny, that's always what I say when people ask how I am.
- Now I remember, little Goodie, that's what we called you when you came, because all you knew how to say was: "Good, good!"
- It's easy to be good if we're surrounded by good people.
- So, you're still singing the same tune!
- Why not? It's best to stick to that word, and say everything's good, and not go too much into detail, because we all know what lies beneath the surface!
- Oh, so you've reached rock bottom since we last met - I can see because you've developed a sense of humour!
Yes, it is precious interchanges like this that leave everyone feeling so much happier than they were before such dialogue.

And anyway, I was thinking about communication this morning - what it's all about, and etc. I'd read this really interesting book review over at Lapham's Quarterly, about an author who posits that it's wrong to interpret Babel as having been the source of one, original language, from which all others stem. The author explains that, before the demise, there was not one language, but many languages - and the unity was in the idea to talk to people who spoke other languages, because in such a way, one might actually learn something.
Toni Morison similarly interprets the Babel story in her Nobel Lecture, and also stresses that truth can only ever lie in diversity, not in some kind of dogmatic master narrative.
I have never understood why people would take the story of Babel literally. Why monolithic language, and not the unifying spirit of compassionate creativity? Going to market both before I knew the language and now that I know the language, I've been able to notice that the key to communication is the idea behind the words, not the words themselves. The language is accidental: what matters is whether one is communicating out of kindness or trickery, etc.
The unity before the destruction of Babel was surely the good will among men that flourishes when their priorities are straight. Good will does not judge, but seeks to exchange in order to build that which is beautiful.
It seems to me that through our imperfection, we block ourselves off from this, intentionally and unintentionally, and so the love gets fractured. One can be conflicted in so many ways, and yet be "good" in an essential way: and thus carry a tiny piece of the unifying Logos. This is why one oughtn't dismiss one's attackers: they may hold the missing piece to our puzzle.
I go to market to be reminded, on a most basic level, about the elements of communication: desire and trade. The give and take in life. The economy of life. We all know how closely linked economy is with the household: οἰκονομία - οἶκος. The truth of the interactions of trade is very basic. But - as with Babel - we can depart from this simplicity and make it all very complicated, indeed, as with the trade of but theoretical numbers.
It is the meek who inherit the earth. You can find them at the market, and they can tell you that beyond all our deep thoughts about humanity, humour saves us from ourselves.

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