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  • Writer's pictureDenise Tolan

The Daily Dick: Musing in a Time of Angst

From The Ramadan

“Let him be, I say: and Heaven have mercy on us all—Presbyterians and Pagans alike—for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.”



In this chapter, Queequeg is lost in prayer. And Ishmael does not know what to think about it. I get it. A few years ago, a woman stopped me in HEB and asked me if I knew where something was. I was unfamiliar with the product. ‘It’s a spice,’ she said. ‘If you have a demon, like in your foot or your elbow, it will draw it out.’ I found an HEB clerk to help her out and mentally shrugged my shoulders. What did it hurt me that this woman believed in that spice?

How we get from Point A to Point B is hard enough. As Ram Dass said, “We are all just walking each other home.” And who knows? I might need that spice one day.

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