Why The Bento Box
I have always been fascinated with the Asian culture. As a little girl, I would run into my mother’s closet to touch the beautiful light, blue kimono her brother gave her during the war. He gave her many gifts from Japan, and the items always held a deep allure for me. From chopsticks, to vases, to rice bowls, I would intently hold these items in my hands and dream of visiting this foreign land. Later, I would appreciate their philosophers and Shinto, kami, and rituals. The i-Ching is also a beloved guide I go to in times of trouble or indecision.
The bento box was always a treat for the eyes when it was delivered to the neatly prepared table. Every compartment was beautifully constructed with colorful culinary delights. Although it was developed for the farmer in the rice fields around the 5th century, it wasn’t until the Edo Period (1603-1868) where it became more refined and artistic. Everything had its purpose and place; aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
The Bento also held a deeper meaning I would realize later resembled my life, or at least the life I thought I was supposed to live. Everything in its place, neatly arranged and expected as so. The sad thing was when things actually happened, like the death of a family member, lost cat, or losing a best friend, I realized there wasn’t a compartment on how you handle such things. Life isn’t all neatly compartmentalized.
Life Is Not a Bento Box
We all know when life was easier. Elementary school. Of course, not all of us had an easy experience in it, but for the most part it was a predictable life. Bus stop, lunch boxes and everything on a tight schedule. We didn’t have time to think, really. It was a monotonous 9 months of predictability. However, I think we also knew it didn’t nurture creativity or much inner growth. Education was an expectation, not a privilege, and I think it created a society of entitlement where out-of-the-box thinking wasn’t created. Now this was in the 80’s, and I am hoping in the next ten years we will finally see a paradigm shift. (More on that later!) So, when we finally were able to make our mark on the world, many of us struggle as to how that was supposed to look like. Where was the ‘rule book’, the guided lessons, the Hall Passes to get us out of trouble? We had a choice to either forge our own paths and discover our greater self that was always lurking deep within, or we stumbled along a path we didn’t want to follow, but did anyway.
Stepping Out of the Box!
There comes a time when Life finally gives us the ‘opportunity’ to step-out-of-the-box. Yes, the opportunity, though we don’t always take it when we see it. Sometimes it’s easier to watch others be given it and then watch them walk away from it. We also know when we see people grasp it by the ears and run with it. We see they are so thankful they didn’t follow ‘the rules’ and take a chance at something that might have seemed crazy at the time. Stepping out of the box requires a leap of faith and a deep hope that you will be guided in the right direction.
In My Journey, you will learn the leaps of faith I had to take and the opportunities missed. I hope you gain insight from my experiences and step out of Your Box!