My Little Ship

Little Boat by ~to-shreds
Little Boat by ~to-shreds

The year before my mother passed away, she taught my son a song about a little boy and his toy ship. Every time I hear the song (“Im pokrik navak” here), I remember my childhood. I remember my mother and her words here and there that in hindsight seem to all have had a purpose. She would sometimes make a comment about something that seemed irrelevant or unimportant at the time. Looking back those comments were carefully crafted statements about important life issues delivered in the right context at the right time.

I’m sorry to butcher the beauty of the song but feel that even a crude translation is relevant:

Created the little boy
A white paper ship.
He lowered the ship
Onto the waves of the river.

My little ship, my little ship,
Will you reach indeed the blue sea?
My little ship, my little ship,
Will you reach indeed the blue sea?

My little ship, my little ship,
Where are you, where are you going?
Where are they, where are they taking you
The crazy waves of the river?

My little ship, my little ship,
Will you reach indeed the blue sea?
My little ship, my little ship,
Will you reach indeed the blue sea?

The sun disappeared,
Behind the clouds it went.
Rain fell from the sky
And the little river flooded.

My little ship, my little ship,
Did you reach indeed the blue sea?
Or on the way drowned you the wind
And you fell asleep at the bottom of the river?

My little ship, my little ship,
Did you reach indeed the blue sea?
Or on the way drowned you the wind
And you fell asleep at the bottom of the river?

In a conversation with a friend I mentioned that one of my hopes is to live an uneventful and simple life in uninteresting times. In Armenian history every generation has faced some calamity, a disaster, a socioeconomic upheaval, and suffering. I briefly mentioned this here.

Try to plant a seed in a garden. The more fertile the soil, the higher the output of the plant. Disturb the soil or the roots, and risk ending up with a shocked plant. Storms, bugs, and looters can kill even the strongest plants. Fail to harvest, support, and feed the plants, and risk having a poor outcome. People who want to get very rich want to get too much fertilizer in the garden metaphor which can kill a plant. Others who focus on one aspect of life at expense of others (time being limited and constant) choose one type of food in the garden metaphor at the expense of other nutrients resulting in an overly green plant with no fruit, or some other deficiency.

Another friend of mine said that he would go and fight for his country. I said “I hope you never have to make that choice.”

I hope the waves in your life are nothing you cannot handle.

9 Comments

  1. It is difficult to find that balance in everything. Work with family, enough money with too much money, family with friends, self time with selfless time, the list could go on. That is why it is important to keep your eyes on the one thing that matters. When you do that the balance is easy to achieve. Be cautious because once your eyes are drawn away things often seems to fall out of place.

  2. Without becoming too metaphysical, the most important force in the universe is love. Money and possessions can come and go, but true love will always remain.

    Jeff

  3. Elly – Thank you. I also understand your point about living an exciting life.
    Sam – Thanks for stopping by. I have struggled with the definition of the “one thing” ever since this. Maybe Billy Crystal was able to figure it out. But I have come to terms with the understanding that there will be more than one thing of highest importance in my life.
    Jeff – I couldn’t agree more.

  4. Can there be more than one thing with the highest importance in your life? Something must take presidence over the rest whether you realize it or not.

  5. R – I completely agree. During calm years Armenian arts and culture grow immensely and the results are overwhelmingly wonderful.
    Sam – If you add the time dimension, then I agree completely. My wife says she can multitask and be focused on multiple priorities at once. I can only focus on a single priority at any given time. But I think you’re talking about a different “one thing.” Because many lives matter in my life (including my own), their relative priorities are impossible to determine for me. Instead it seems I approach everything from a perspective of some sort of triage. Does some goal matter more than my children? Does one child matter more than the other? Does art matter more than order? Is one role (being a Christian) more important than another role (being a husband)? If the “one thing” that matters most for you is not very personal private matter, feel free to share it. Perhaps I can understand your perspective a bit better and learn from you. This question (the one thing that matters most) doesn’t have a solution for me, so I focus on other problems. Maybe after further growth and development I will arrive at the same conclusion as you but I’m not there yet.

  6. I am certain the “one thing” is different for different people. My “one thing” is the most important and from that “one thing” I feel I try to be better at everything else because of it. By focusing on the “one thing” it causes me to work at being a better husband, a better father, a better steward with my time and money, a better friend and a better person all around. Obviously I am human so I fail more than I’d care to admit.

    To me my “one thing” is developing a relationship with Christ and putting everything I have into that relationship (including family, friends, work, etc.). I don’t want to take your blog off on a track you did not intend for it to go, but since you asked and since I don’t consider my faith a private matter I have no problem stating it here. I will not throw it in anyone’s face or shove it down anyone’s throat, but given the question posed I felt it appropriate to answer honestly.

  7. Sam – Thank you very much for sharing the “one thing” and witnessing for Christ! I can come up with nothing more than Proverbs 3 “5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

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