Monday, September 12, 2011

Riddle of Mal

"What are you taking out of this world?" Bala asked.

The Boy scooped another spoonful of vada and samba into his mouth, pondered the question, and decided not to answer.  The two had spent the last hour talking about Tomas, choosing dance over some other profession, and religion versus spirituality.  He, Bala, a thirty-something year old man and fellow kalaripayattu student, sat across from the Boy and twiddled his half-empty teacup.

"What were you born with?  Riches?  A silver spoon?  Your parents?  Your siblings?  Nothing, really.  Nothing you can keep forever.  And that's what you leave with."

The Boy considered this and pointed out the grim nature of Bala's self-answered question.

"That's what life is all about, man.  We worry too much about how much money we make and what we can afford and what other people do or don't have.  Money comes and goes.  In the end, you can't ever really say you owned something, because really, you never did."  A pause to drain his teacup.  "Life's too short to worry about things that won't stay yours forever.  But your experiences?  Your memories?  They can't be taken away."

This much made sense.

"Do something with your life.  Have experiences.  Learn about the world.  You?  You're doing that already, you're on the right path."

The Boy swallowed some coffee.

"I believe that life is like a train ride you've already embarked upon, and you don't know most of the details.  Someone bought you a ticket, and that destination is coming.  Sure, you can run around the train, worry about the destination and when it will arrive.  But running around won't make that destination come any sooner or later.  Or, you can walk around the train, look out the window, talk to other people, and learn from them.  Share your stories, listen to theirs, and continue.  Make the ride worth it."



  1. I love this. I'm glad you're doing well, Josh! (Liebers for life.)

  2. Hey Josh- I am so enjoying your blog and it sounds like quite the journey you are on! I am glad you are taking such full advantage of the opportunity! (Though we do miss your smiling face at Bowdoin).
    -Jen M

  3. Haha YES! Night Music-ers! I miss you both - Lianna your blog is great, and Jen, you best be ripping up Bobo regardless of me being there or not...

  4. It's the journey, not the destination.