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Today's Stichomancy for Italo Calvino

The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from The Shadow Line by Joseph Conrad:

haven't strength enough on board to bend another suit; incredible thought, but it is true. Or we may even get dismasted. Ships have been dismasted in squalls simply because they weren't handled quick enough, and we have no power to whirl the yards around. It's like being bound hand and foot pre- paratory to having one's throat cut. And what appals me most of all is that I shrink from going on deck to face it. It's due to the ship, it's due to the men who are there on deck--some of them, ready to put out the last remnant of their strength at a

The Shadow Line