Monday, August 4, 2008

The fluidity and comfort of answers

When I started this blog, I made a list of topics I knew I wanted to write about. On the list is "the fluidity and comfort of answers."

I have no idea what I meant by that.
Too bad, since it sounds like such a great topic.

Most people don't like questions, but they sure love answers. They spend a lot of time wanting to KNOW something, to really know it, no questions, no doubts. (Not necessarily to understand, but that's a different subject...)

When I was very young, I used to envy the Pope because, I thought, he was the one person on the planet who really, truly KNEW whether there is a God, because he had a direct line, so to speak, and could talk directly to God. Everyone else could believe, but they couldn't KNOW. (I know. Lots of people argue with this belief. I don't need to hear those arguments. I was four years old when I had this train of thought, so give it a rest, okay?)

But what if what the Pope knew was that the whole thing about his being able to talk to God was a scam?


Maybe sometimes, it's better not to know.

Like my attic.

I haven't looked in the attic since our house fire. I don't know whether the cleaning company tossed everything that was up there, or whether it's still there, and if so, what condition it is in. A whole lot of smoke went up and out through there, so probably, anything in the way was at least severely smoke damaged.

There was a lot of stuff up there. Old toys- lots of lego, for instance. A box of photographic negatives. Several storage containers of quilting fabric. The hand tooled leather covered "hope chest" that was my high school graduation present.

Nothing I couldn't live without. But some things with sentimental value.

I haven't looked because as long as I DON'T look, I don't KNOW if it has all been destroyed, so in my mind, it can all still be there, undamaged.

Kind of like Schrodinger's Attic.

I have been tempted, but so far, have not given in.

What else don't I want to know?

I don't want to know what certain people really think of me.
I don't want to know what secrets my kids keep from me.
I don't want to know the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow...

One of my personal mantras has long been "people who snoop find out things they don't want to know."

Having so much that I don't want to know leaves room for the things I DO want to know.

But even those things, I understand that it might not be possible to know.

Someone asked the master recently if he ever gives a straight answer.
He didn't give her one.

It's true, he rarely does.

And yet...
often, whatever answer he gives, although it may not be possible for me to understand it at the time as a "straight answer," turns out later to have been the simplest, most straightforward, answer it was possible to give. The literal truth, but so masked by my own viewpoint that I couldn't see it.

So much of the "straight" in a "straight answer" has to do with the receiver's perspective.

Like how a line on a map showing the most direct route to somewhere does not always look straight.

I have often been amused by how obvious the answer was, later, when I could see it.

It's a lot like the FedEx logo.
Once you see the arrow between the "E" and the "x" you can never "unsee" it.

Go look.

I dare you.



Spartacus Jones said...

I always look forward to reading your blog. Interesting observations.


CoyoteFe said...

Hilinda -

Spartacus Jones recommended your blog. You have a strong voice. Thanks for creating your blog.

Interesting thought about questions. I was thinking that people love questions, but I believe you are correct. It really is the satisfaction of answers that enthralls us. Our brain must release endorphins when we nail an asnwer. That must cover us when we discover the unexpected.

Can't even touch the master thing; too much inside baseball.

I'd vote for you to go look in your attic, but who am I to mess with that?

Be well.

hilinda said...

Thanks for stopping by, coyote!

People love to ASK questions- but most don't like being the one asked. Very often, they interpret questions as criticism, and not as requests for information. At least in my experience.

And about the attic... someday, I'll look. I think.