Part one: Market of life and Life of Market
Market has always been one of the most vibrantly enjoyable places that exist on earth. The word market is derived from Latin word “mercatus” which means trading, buying and selling. People gather at a market to vend or purchase a variety of goods, to name but a few, vegetable, livestock, fruit. In this sense, market that I refer to is a market place. It is not the market in economic terms which is based upon Adam Smith and John Locke. However, it is not a weird narrative if you can see both visible and invisible hands in a market place. I think there are at least three kinds of people coming to the market; vendors, shoppers, and wanderers. It makes a perfect sense for the first two former groups of people to come to the market. How about the latter? What I think is that some people come to market to interact with other folks. It is, thereby, a place where people share their stories, to some extent. This also gives a sense of Habermasian public sphere which suggests that public sphere is open to all citizens. For brevity’s sake, what we see at the market is the myriad social scene.
Given what I discuss above, the markets to which I have been (Missoula Farmers Market, Missoula Saturday Market and Clark Fork River Market) also have such characteristics. However, things differ in different place. So do these markets. In this part, I shall narrate a story about these markets and how I feel when visiting them.
Looking around and inhaling some fresh air, I saw people walking from one shop to another enthusiastically asking about the goods. Some senior couples were drinking coffee and chatting in such a caring manner. This scene reminded me of the Lennon’s song “Grow Old with Me”. At the same time, I noticed a younger couple with a young baby asking each other whether cucumbers were needed. Personally, it is so fantastic to see a variety of unfamiliar foods, fruits, and vegetables. It, too, makes me wonder what kind of goods people here are buying most. I still haven’t found the answer but what I assume is that people here prefer fresh and organic products. In this case, it means that people care not only for the goods per se, but also the processes. This eventually means that they care for the sources of good as such. It reminded me of the Garber’s farm. Wandering around the markets, another thing being worth telling is bakery. Huckleberry pies, chocolate and strawberry cake, and assorted cookies were arrayed in lines. I definitely bought a lot of them and found out later that I am such a sweet tooth person since I finished every single piece. Furthermore, I personally think that living in a small town is a huge privilege because life becomes simple and people get along so well. As far as I see, most of the people seemed to know each other before. Pondering upon Habermasian public sphere again, it seems that such sphere can exist better in small-town context. This reason is that in a small town people tend to know each other and have to get along whilst the big city is prone to create ignorance in people’s relationship due to a large number of population and rush. Hence, the public sphere where people can mutually form public opinion tends to be more practical in a smaller community where people talk to each other more.
Pondering more about the markets, I also think that they help weave a fabric of Missoula community. The word “community” is derived from old French “comunité” which one of the meanings is “everybody”. Interestingly, a market is, therefore, a place where everybody who lives in the same community gathers. It emphasizes that market is a place of inclusiveness which ultimately leads to the sense of belonging because everyone is included as a part of the whole. If people in a certain community have a strong sense of belonging, they will mutually protect their community. So, I think that market significantly plays a leading role in this sense. People in Missoula decide to come to these markets rather than multinationals or huge commercial groceries for a reason, I believe. It is because these markets collectively belong to people of Missoula. In virtue of the sense of belonging, people come to these markets to fulfill their livelihood. In other words, the markets are a part of people’s life and the life of these markets depend upon the livelihood of such people.
Part two: Potluck Dinner
I would like to begin with an etymology of potluck as I always delve into the word’s origin to see if there is any significant connotation. The word “pot-luck” is derived from pot + luck; with notion of “one’s luck or chance as to what may be in the pot.” What is so interesting in this word is “what may be in the pot”. This means we cannot know ahead of time what we shall see in the pot. It is exactly the same as the way the world is. We can never know what the future holds. Once, an erudite scholar says that we live with the future by trust. So, in respect of this given fact, the pot that each of us brings along contains trust too. As we all know, trust can lead to many more groundbreaking decisions which may change the world especially in a better path. Anyhow, in each pot, there are at least two special components of luck as follows:
The first component is the uniqueness of taste which delivers culinary delight to every tongue. Each dish represents richness of culture and life style.
The second component and the most important one is consideration. We cook these dishes for other folks whom we care, so we have tried our best.
In the nutshell, the pot brings us all together and that is the luck we all have.
Part three: Water, Wonder & We
After a greatest dinner of the year, some unexpected treatment happened. It was a mini water festival. As far as I know, water festival is something we share in common. That’s why playing with water in the manner we all have noticed has something to do with us. More or less, at the same time, some folks also enjoyed playing football. Afterwards, we sung some songs including Stand by Me which is very special to Mr. and Mrs. Mansour.
Part four: Jigsaw
I try to connect all three parts together but to marshal my ideas is not very easy. The reason is that I feel extremely delighted today and I don’t think that I can express all of my true feeling in words or even sentences. The best thing that I can do is to put every piece of joy in place like a doing the jigsaws. What is different between jigsaw and picture is that jigsaw gives a sense of incompleteness which means that we can take each piece out and put it back in place over and over again while a picture gives a sense of completeness which the whole picture is not divided into pieces. Analogically, If we consider our lives as a jigsaw, one thing we will realize is that sometimes every piece of jigsaw is in the right place and sometimes it is vice versa. This recurring occurrence highlights that there is no completeness in our lives, but the virtue of incompleteness is that there is always a room to learn new things and improve. If something has completed, it stops. But life moves on always as long as it is life. I think the activities that I have been doing all day long tells me the so-called jigsaw way of life. In the morning, we went to the markets and groceries. Thence we cooked. While cooking, some unexpected dishes appear. In the evening, we had a wonderful dinner. We sang along with an acoustic guitar, played football, laughed and got drenched unexpectedly again. These events seem to be pieces in the jigsaw of hilarious happiness. I don’t know what piece of jigsaw will fit its space, but what I really know is that every piece of jigsaw means something to me…
At midnight and listening to Midnight Train to Georgia.