18 May 2008

Journal 37

I had already planned to leave on the 19th, and to announce my plan. The day was hot and bright after yesterday's floods; the river is still a few inches above its normal level, however, and I left amidst a great deal of mud, my bags heavier by a flashlight and 2 spare batteries given to me at Dedivangala where I preferred to use candles, I have a flashlight which I purposely left at Island Hermitage, but I know by now that a gift, once offered, cannot be refused - it is just not possible, nor polite either (for refusal deprives the giver of the merit gained by giving). I have also learned that what I don't have I don't need: but if something is offered me, it will then become necessary - as with the umbrella, which in yesterday's heat was an indispensable sunshade (except in villages, where it cannot be used) - so I suppose the flashlight will be useful - was, in fact, useful that very night - i.e. yesterday, the 19th…

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