If you were an animal, what would you be?
“A Bengal tiger!” I said after a brief pause. I didn’t know it yet, but the answer would be very meaningful later in my life…
A few years passed, I had gone to a knife makers exhibition. At one of the stalls, one of the makers had odd looking knives, all from the Philippines. I felt strangely drawn to them. I recognised the butterfly knife instantly, as I owned one which felt like an old friend the moment I had picked it up. The one on the table had a card with “Balisong” artfully written on it. It was a familiar word somehow.
The one knife had a sharply curved blade, and a finger ring with a point.
I ran my fingers over the handle. It felt so familiar. The maker smiled. “The blade talks to you doesn’t it? Go ahead, pick it up. Careful though, this one is much sharper than the ones you know…”
“The ones I know? But I don’t…” But when I picked it up, it was as if I had known it my entire life.
The maker smiled broadly now. “The claw of Harimau, the great tiger” he said, which was not making any sense at the time. “What do you mean?”
The maker leaned closer, “That is a karambit my friend. In Sumatra they believe when a king dies, he becomes Harimau, the great tiger. And that is a knife made to be like Harimau’s claw.”
His voice lowered to a hushed wisper: “Its speaks to you, you must have been a tiger in your past life…” He saw the confusion in my eyes “Surely you had handled knives from an early age?”
He was right.
“Surely you have a fire in your heart, a force that drives you to defeat all in your path?”
He meant the feeling I could never explain, but felt so strongly.
“All those memories, the ones you remember but never lived?”
At times they felt like memories of dreams, not reality.
It made so much sense… but at the same time it did not. “You mean to say reincarnation is real!? I don’t believe in it!” I put the knife back on the table, but it was as if I put down a piece of myself. He just smiled, and said “If you are right, then I must be wrong about what you feel… wrong about what you are.”
I stormed away, confused and upset.
In this life there are things we still cannot explain. The more I learn the less certain I feel about anything. We know nothing about ourselves, and perhaps, the purpose is to find out who you are now… Perhaps also where we came from and how we came to be.
The others will discover it for themselves, and a silence will fall over them all.
Since I had discovered it, I am somehow fulfilled.
(Or is it Harimau?)