“Fate Is Like A Small Sandstorm…”

picture a terrible sandstorm..

“sandstorm’s one of nature’s most destructive forces,” says bear gryls in his show, “man vs. wild” several nights ago. i do not follow his show but someone i know usually does. she says it’s one of her favorite shows on discovery channel. she says she likes seeing bear gryls in dangerous situations and most especially in parts where he has to… strip! hay…

for those who are not familiar with “man vs. wild,” it is basically a survival show, wherein you have bear gryls going to all these wild and exotic places all over the world, teaching his viewers how to survive in such environments. Typical how-to activities include but not limited to: hunting your own food, building your own shelter from scratch, crossing mountains using only a rope, squeezing into crevasses in glaciers and tight spaces in caves, building a raft out of reed, swimming under a frozen lake, and other risky scenarios you would not normally think about on a fine, fine day. he is also the host of another discovery channel show called “worst case scenarios,” which is also in a way a survival show but the locations are not necessarily out in the wild. this show is geared towards surviving accidents and other not so pretty situations like being in an elevator that is plummeting to the ground, or being inside a car that is suspended in a cliff. Well, you get the picture.

for last week’s man vs. wild episode, he decided to teach the audience how to survive sandstorms and flash floods. he travelled to the mojave desert to demonstrate this. at that time however, there was no real sandstorm gathering in the desert, but bear and his team improvised and created a sandstorm of their own using these huge heavy-duty industrial fans that disturbed the peace of the dunes. this brought gryls the sandstorm he wanted.

someone who was with me at that time while I was watching this episode commented that seeing the sandstorm reminded him of the sandstorms he had encountered when he was still living in the middle east. i, on the other hand, was reminded of a different kind of sandstorm.

“Okay, picture a terrible sandstorm,” he says. “Get everything else out of your head.”
“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions,” Crow says…

Sometimes, fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t about something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

[…]

And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how symbolic or metaphysical it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t be even sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. This what this storm is all about.”


– Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami, pp5-6.

How about you?  Did it remind you of something or nothing at all?

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