Saturday, October 10, 2009

Legend of the Worry Man

When I first heard it I thought the story was absolutely fascinating. I was in an import shop looking at various curios and found a very small carving of a weeping man.

The clerk walked up to me and explained that this was the “worry man,” you simply hold the carving in your hand and roll it around during times of anxiety and stress. If you continue to work it eventually it will become smooth. Once that happens all of your worries will be gone.

At that time I did not purchase the palm sized statue and since that time (I’ve had many worries) regretted that I did not. Several years had passed and during that time I had searched high and low for a carving of the same size. Over the years I had found several that were a foot in diameter or so, but nothing like the small one that I had encountered

I was lucky enough to find one this morning in a Tibetan curio shop in downtown Boulder, Colorado.

The owner of the shop corrected me on my story and told me that the carving was of the weeping buddha. It turns out that Buddha is sometimes depicted as weeping because “the world is joy and the world is pain.” Perhaps this depiction is before his enlightenment.

I still like the story about the worry man. As a high anxiety type it works for me as a sort of asian medieval stress ball. The convenient size makes it so that I can work it during meetings, on flights (and landings) or other times of high stress.

My daughter observed the depth of the carving and said “that will take forever to rub that into a smooth ball.”

I replied, “that is because during your life your worries will never really go away.”