I’ve been battling stomach pain for over three weeks now; thankfully, I think I’m slowly but surely on a path to normal. I already wrote about sickness, but when it occupies so much of a day, it lingers in the cluttered hallways of the mind.
Now that I’m on the road to recovery, I’m determined to reclaim a few things I’ve lost. First comes the body, for the mind cannot exercise itself without a robust vessel for transport. Next comes my appreciation for food. More importantly are the intangibles. For me, sickness dulls one of the most important emotions we have available to us: curiosity. Illness forces you into the groove of the comfortable as you try and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Anything too new, too exciting is simply too much. A day without leaving the house isn’t depressing, it’s just what provides you with a little bit of calm in a tumultuous ocean.
Normally, this plummet in curiosity as you stay in the ship’s cabin isn’t that bad. You hunker down and you recover; you gather your troops for the next battle. This time, however, is different. I’m in another country - another world, really - and the adventure that awaits me around the corner has put a premium on curiosity. It’s the kindle for the fire of life.
The worst human emotion is regret. Every other one - anger, jealously, sadness - has built into its DNA some way to climb out of the ditch caused by the emotion’s damage. Not so much with regret. It tears you up from the inside, like the stomach pain that has been my personal demon. There’s nothing you can do about it but let it go with your breath, the official timekeeper of the eons. The only way to really confront regret is to never meet it. I don’t want to look back on my time in India and remember how a bump in the road of health made me complacent. Curiosity is the natural antidote and I’m reclaiming it now.
Like an explorer in uncharted territory, I’m beginning anew my adventure in the land of experience. Backpack stuffed with curiosity, I will make the earth tremble with my footsteps. I will leave my mark with my memories. The world is mine - ours - for the taking. Engagement, fueled by burning curiosity, is mandatory.