“Life is a rice bowl.”
A friend of mine dropped this deep, insightful knowledge onto me one day. But in retrospect, it felt researched and well thought out. Essentially, it means that the lives we live, the journeys we undertake, the metaphorical stories we write, can all be likened to nothing more than a rice bowl.
The things we experience in life, or rather, the random servings of rice we receive in our bowl are mostly just variations of a same basic thing. Sometimes the rice we receive can be under-cooked, sometimes it feels soggy, sometimes it feels too hot, sometimes the taste is not to our liking, and sometimes we’re simply not hungry for rice. But what these servings in our bowls essentially boil down to (pun intended) is that it is all just rice. We have the power to cook it to our liking, depending on various factors such as circumstances, mood, desire or even nostalgia.
The tools that we would require to make this said dish, however, would not always be at our disposal. It is our job to go and find it. Sometimes the rice cake you make seems too bland and to find the exact herb or spice you need, you will have to travel halfway across the world or bend over your back.
Yes, life will occasionally deal you a massive serving of badly burnt rice that can in no way be eaten by any person who values their physical health; and cleaning your bowl for your next serving doesn’t seem worth the pain. Sometimes no matter how hard you try to scrub off the stains, the taste of your previous failed attempts linger in your mouth with every new bite you take.
But life wasn’t meant for us to sit alone with our bowls of rice. The world is a cafeteria, fate and destiny are the canteen ladies, and you, along with everyone else, have come to eat, because boy, are you hungry! And what hunger too! Some of us don’t sit around and wait in line to be served our next helping. Some of us slam open the kitchen doors, barge inside, and demand more rice to work with. What you cooked and ate in the past doesn’t matter because you realize that it is the act of cooking that gives the food meaning.
What we can’t eat, we learn to cook. What we can’t cook, we borrow from people who are willing to share their recipes. And once in a while we come up with a concoction the likes of which the world has never seen before.
Every person has a signature dish up their sleeve; some have perfected it while others have simply not found it yet. And there are some who cook it on a regular basis without even realizing the specialty of their creation.
Life is a rice bowl, and we only get as many tries at eating our food as we give ourselves.
Don’t forget to scrape your bowl clean and cherish every bite before leaving the cafeteria.