This week, Tuesday is the new Monday for my blog, one that is a bit random.
Yesterday began with not knowing, which in the whole scheme of things was minor. It was the first time in visits to dentists since childhood that I was anxious. There were definite unknowns about the potential risks of the issue.
“Potential” is a big part of unknowns in our lives. Sometimes it is real and other times we are extremely good at creating it.
It was rather sweet. In my not knowing what was ahead, my cat seemed to know I was anxious and followed me around in a way he normally does not in the morning. I petted him and thanked him, wondering if he knew or if he sensed, acknowledging a difference between the two.
At the dental practice waiting to be taken, I focused on the saltwater tank in the middle of the reception area. Watching the many kinds and sizes of fish, I mulled whether fish “know” or not. I observed various chases and wondered if the fish doing the chasing had a reason and if the fish being chased knew it was best to get away and go hide under the rock, for example. Do they know and not know as we do, or at least in their own way? Does knowing connect with instinct? And if so, to what does not knowing connect?
It was, indeed, a great distraction, and before long I was seated in the chair, present again to my own not knowing coupled with hope. Ah, that is a whole other branch of this. What might we couple with not knowing?
AFTER THE PROCEDURE
All went well, gratefully, and I am giving myself the week to simply be. Every small part of our body is part of the whole and the whole is affected by each small part.
While resting and giving myself permission to put off my blog for one day, I realized how this topic of not knowing has grown and deepened exponentially.
I began to imagine and visualize tributaries flowing into the well that represent so many arenas of not knowing, and the well receiving them with limitless capacity. It is as if the well then processes them, and as I (and others) come to dip, offers up fresh, clear wisdom.
It is not that it offers up magical answers and all of a sudden I know. Instead, it fills my ladles or buckets with new ways of thinking about and being with not knowing.
I did NOT KNOW the depths of all the wells. What a the silly notion that a 90 minute conversation with a few people to talk about one well would be sufficient, though the introduction to a well can be a beginning catalyst.
Now, at just this one, hours are spent in my own interior world of not knowing. I have been journaling “to beat the band” as we used to say when I was a child, whatever that means. I am also letting the wells introduce me to multiple resources, for I have learned that there is much to be added from the voices of others. The well is both inside me and outside of me.
From a most wonderful book that moved itself off the bookstore shelf so I would find it just before March 2020…speaking of a time of not knowing…let me leave you with a few words from the author, Estelle Frankel. Her book is The Wisdom of Not Knowing: Discovering a Life of Wonder by Embracing Uncertainty.
Note that an entire book has been written about not knowing, not just three or four short blogs. In fact, this is what Estelle Frankel says as she is speaking of “how there is beauty, a poetic allure, to the unknown.”
“It is the deep endless well, the vast blanket of space, that is the source from which all mystics, artists and poets draw their inspiration and creativity.”
It is a well.
She goes on to say, “Through the process of inquiry into what is unknown, we grow our souls.” And woven through further pages, how what we do not know opens us to curiosity, creativity, possibility and more.
And finally, because this speaks so to my trying to figure out where to go with this well, Estelle Frankel tells how the wisdom of not knowing has been her spiritual curriculum for a decade.
A curriculum for a decade. I feel like I am on page 1.
I know I do not have enough decades left to plumb the magnificent depths of all the wells that have come to mind.
To the essence of this particular one, the well of not knowing, there is the conscious, subconscious and unconscious not knowing we experience and live in and into.
Sometimes for only a moment until knowing arrives, but more often for weeks, months, years or always.
I want to be present to what I do not know with a listening heart. I want to be present no longer in avoidance, trying to push aside the emotions and feelings that can accompany not knowing. Instead, I choose to embrace it with a sense of curiosity, creativity and possibility. It feels like there might be a pairing of grace and ease along with the pain of the mysteries.
I set an intention to continue to dip into the depths and do so with expectation and trust that this well will hydrate my soul, as the wells always do in their time and in the many trips to them.
I invite you to join me.