Stress

Stress. Tis the season of stress. Stress shows on the faces of the drivers whistling past me as I run and juggle along the road. Early November brings a string of three holidays, a peak time for kamadipw en wahu and kamadipw en kousapw. Both bring their stresses. The drivers with their heavy loads, representing labor and capital, drive with determination. I am simply something in the way of their mission, an obstacle in the road. More than once I find myself sidestepping from the road.

The air is filled with an unspoken tension. There is always the concern that someone will do something that is not completely correct, generating talk for days over the gaffe. And yet there maybe no such thing as a perfect kamadipw. In a Gödelian sense, a kamadipw is a sufficiently complex event such that somewhere along the line someone is sure to commit a faux pas, no matter how careful everyone is.

And yet the opposite of stress is not happiness. The opposite of stress is boredom. Without stress there is no joy, no excitement. Nothing risked, nothing gained. Outsiders, mehnwai, may be heard to complain of boredom, of the lack of activities on the island. There is no lack of activities that fill the local day. Stressful some may be, but also fun, social, exciting, and rewarding. When everything does come together, then the kamadipw is one to remember and celebrate.

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