As with most things (cell phones, iPods, puberty, etc), I'm joining the blog craze late. Usually I'd rather be doing things than sitting in front of a computer writing about doing things. But this way I can pretend that I am important and I can fool myself into thinking that people care about what I am doing in my life. So, here, I am officially launching my blogging experiment.
"Llama fest" 2007 was held in Spanish Fork, UT at a Hare Krishna temple. At first, I supposed that they had some kind of spiritual tale involving the beasts and I was really intrigued to discover their significance. It turns out they just like llamas. And who would blame them? I was approached by this old woman (a.k.a Llama Lady) who had this keen ability to sense expert llama leaders. It was in her blood. She asked me to lead a llama through an obstacle course. And, being the seasoned llama leader that I am, I graciously accepted. Upon trying to select which of the myriad of llamas to choose from, I had an instant connection with this llama, which I named Margaret. Unfortunately, it was a boy llama. Like I said, it was an instant connection. I changed his (her?) name to Frederick. He was an interesting llama--very unruly and didn't like to be kept on a short leash (I should've known by this detail alone that it was a boy). For some reason Frederick sniffed the anuses of the other llamas when they stood in front of him.
Nonetheless, Frederick was a trooper. He climbed up stairs, lept over a pond, and even walked through hoops. His most feated accomplishment (or was it mine as his leader?), though, was climbing into and out of a van (since, you know, wild llamas have frequent encounters with open vans and stuff. They must absolutely know how to deal with such situations). So, in the end, Frederick and I earned 3rd place out of 15 on the obstacle course. It was the greatest day of my l......llama leading life.Amazingly, though, I learned a couple things from llama leading. Other less-abled llamas refused to finish the obstacle course. No amount of coercion, bribery, or bum sniffing from Frederick could get them to keep moving. When the animal quit, it quit. I, too, just need to quit when I get tired, discouraged, or don't want to put forth any more exertion...As the honorable Homer J. Simpson once said, "It is better to watch stuff than to do stuff". Some llamas took that to heart.
No, but seriously now, I felt for these llama-leaders whose llamas would not be led. They could nothing more (except for picking a llama like Frederick). Here's the other, perhaps just-as-significant realization from this experience: How many times am I like the llama, refusing to move ahead and overcome obstacles even though there are people along the way trying to show me which way I should go? Do I give up on things too easily because of its difficulty, because I am too tired, or because I am too busy doing extraneous things (like, for Frederick, sniffing bums and eating leaves off of the Llama Lady's trees and having her scold me for the indiscretion)? Do I impede my own progress? Cheeky, but I was thinking about this all the while stepping into llama excrement. Frederick didn't sniff that, though...