Certainty of wonder
Sometimes you have something on your mind. And you are carrying it around with you and every time you have a quiet minute it is there. Now it could be something good, like a trip or a meeting with someone you love. Sometimes it is a worry or a sadness. They are often though simple things, just some little thing on our mind.
I know what it is like to carry this little thing. I feel unsure or apprehensive. My uncertainty rises in me when I am alone with my thoughts and I talk it down. For me sometimes it comes before I do an interview or a workshop. I always have to remind myself that I am just me. And as long as I don't try to be anything other than that I will be fine. That being myself is enough.
I talk myself through things all the time. Me. Confident me. I am a confident person in so many ways. There are lots of things I am sure of. I feel like I have done lots and know lots.
And still I feel so human, so frail, so small in the face of it all. Because I am that too. Last night I looked up at the moon with a bright star underneath it before I went to bed. Proof enough for me that I am small under a big sky. I find there are so many things that I know nothing about. So much about history, geography, nature and science that just bewilders me. Sometimes I learn things and when I go to recall them I cannot remember times or dates or facts. I just remember the idea. I have always been like this. I only know what I know.
And what I know mostly is intuitive. Most of what I know comes from life and from being with other people. Most of what I know I have learned at the frame, sorting out my relationships, thinking about my days. Other things I have learned from walking, being alone with myself for an hour in the morning. Mostly what I think I know is about the human spirit, and even that could not fill a tea cup.
I know that it is not only me that is small under a big sky. I know that many of us wonder. I know too that sometimes people know a lot and in that knowledge they cease to wonder and find a self assuredness. I admire their certainty. It speaks so calmly with such authority. Surely it's right? But then I am alone again and I become bewildered. How can you know? How can you be so sure of anything?
And then I become certain. Certain that I would rather rest in the mystery. Unknowing can be a balm. I have an acceptance of uncertainty, knowing it will rise again and again. I don't have answers and deep knowledge about black holes and cycles of the moon, but I do have wonder and I never want to lose it.
- Deanne Fitzpatrick