f you live a life that is open and full, you can start to see the weave. Stories and events, all wrapping together.
Recently an young Indian lady who shares a pod with me was chatting about a function she was at (actually, the story had more to do about parallel parking that the function). But she mentioned the Bhagavad Gita which I admitted to have read (another nice Indian lady on my team picked up a copy on a trip to her homeland years back – it has a chariot in it. I ended up reading the whole epic and was all the better for it). So I got to be the bookish professor again, knowing something beyond my traditional culture and media.
So through this mix of storytelling, I ended up loaning her the delightfully critical Sita Sings the Blues, while she recommended the Indian flick Oh My God (which involves an atheist shopkeeper who, once the claim on his destroyed shop is denied as an “act of God”, sues God (and the insurance company and every church, temple and mosque nearby)). It’s a deep social commentary about ourselves and our gods, and ties back to one of the prime messages of the Gita itself (that God must serve man just as man serves God).
Meanwhile, just to the side of my desk is the Go board. This came from watching the story Hikaru No Go, an anime series I’ve commented on extensively here. A good story about a young boy growing up with the ghost of an ancient go instructor, one that interested me in the game behind the story that I picked it up (and even read a couple of books on it, reviewed on this site). So now I’m playing short games against people here at work, my best friend is considering playing me online, and my sister even picked up a board and wants to play on her next trip down (my secret dread is that she’s going to kill me at it – so logical!).
And now, because those seventy-five episodes of Hikaru are behind me, now I’ve picked up Yowamushi Pedal, a new Japanese epic of two seasons on Hulu. Once again, we have the rudderless kid (who just wants to form an anime club at school). Instead he’s noticed riding pretty fast and far on his “mommie bike” (just what you think it is, with a bell and basket). And now he’s getting involved in his high school bike club. In mid-introduction-race, he’s ditched his silly bike and replaced it with a road bike from the breakdown van. And now he’s pushing to catch up to the pack, including the back-rider sneerers (they’ll be the first he overhauls).
The point is, while jogging today (I don’t have any story that inspired this one), I thought about the punk on his bike, gasping his heart out, pushing himself. And thus I set my own personal record for the 3.5 miles – nothing fast for most of you, but good (and non-stop) for me. And most of this came from Yowamushi Pedal, and that kid who won’t back down.
But that’s life and stories. They wrap around us, these tales we concoct. Something happens to a storyteller and he incorporates the experience into his tale. And this tale inspires others, who model themselves after this thing they saw. Which makes new stories, and inspires new generations. Bad and good can both be mimicked. Vampires were evil, but now they are cool. Same with smoking – cool, not cool, and then cool. I think of the boxes of books I’ve read, and how they’ve shaped me. And I think of the stories and movies I’ve shared, and the efforts I’ve engaged in that have paid off. And down my life I can see stories and experiences form a weave, meshing together until it’s hard to figure the baseline of truth. Are there uninspired actions? Or do tales of heroism, patriotism, pride, vanity, a hundred deadly sins and saintly virtues, does this explain who we are and why we are?
Always write. And always remain open to the world which surrounds you. Let reality and story mesh and form your truths.
See it. Realize it. Blog it. And on it goes.
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