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  • Writer's pictureJacob Skorka

I Have an Island (pt. III - The Box)

Here, have a beer, and let's talk about the box that is on my island.

If you have been following along the past couple of weeks, then you probably already know how it works. Each thing that I wrote about -- the island, the box, the animal, the ladder, and the storm -- represents something in your life. Last week we learned about the island, and this week we'll chat about the box.

Revisiting some of the islands that I heard about after the original piece, I think the box is generally the least creative thing on islands. Maybe it's a weird question to ask, "you have a box - tell me about it," or maybe it's a direct reflection of what the box represents. I say that it's the least creative because it takes a lot more follow-up questions for people to start to paint a picture of their box than the majority of the other things on the island. One friend of mine said there was not a box on her island at all.

On your island, there is a box. Tell me about it.
No. There is no box on my island, next question.


Her husband laughed pretty hard when she said that, and he described his box as very, very small. He put his index finger no more than one inch away from his thumb and tapped the table, twice, to signify a square as he said, "my box is about this big." He mentioned that it's at the center of the island and not many people know what is in it. The similarities you may find in the stark differences are fascinating when learning about people's boxes. Just Josh sees his box at the center of the island, but his is a huge box at the center that cannot be moved. Anybody is welcome and everybody knows where it is, which is similar to the tiny box in the middle of the other island. As the tiny box was being explained I learned that anybody is allowed to see inside the box because the alternative would cause obsession. People on the island would become obsessed with knowing what was in it, so, with the sole purpose of avoiding obsession, he opens his box.

I see the box on my island at the very center as well. However, mine is not as big as the shipping container, but sizable enough to house a couple of people. My box is extremely hard to get into, but it is possible. I won't encourage or discourage anyone from trying to open it, but there won't be any handouts or assistance in the process. Sometimes people can't open their box at all. Whether they don't know how to, they've never tried, others aren't allowed to but they do frequently, they can't even find it but they have an idea of what it would look like, or they simply don't care. Sometimes they're wide open, or if you want to open it all you have to do is ask. I once heard a guy say that his box was made out of Doritos Locos Tacos and was full of Taco Bell chalupas. In order to open his box, you just had to start eating.

The box represents your heart. How you view your heart - how strong it is, how big it is, how easily accessible it is. Where it's located often shows how much you rely on it. If it's at the center, then chances are you need it to be ever accessible, whereas if it is closer to one side or the other you might not see it as important as me. The box on your island is extremely valuable, regardless of how you describe it - unless there is no box.


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