To know or not to know, that is the question.
I’ve been filling myself up with stories. To the brim. Fiction, non-fiction. My own stories and those of others. Love, hate, reasoning & pure surrender. I am bursting at the seams with stories I want to tell and those I want to take me over. Closing my eyes I can see them floating inside. Little dots of thoughts bouncing back and forth from one corner to another. They overlap and collide, blurring their roots like fading ziplines, trailing a soft echo of light. As I watch from a distance, it almost looks like a summer of lost lightning bugs, fervently working to find a place, a path, an answer. As humans, it is hard to not have an answer, so we search even without knowing, for a solution. But as I stand still, & watch all the dots being lit by literature and lyrics, conversations about coat racks & yesterday’s scene stuck in a still frame, I know the answer they are buzzing to find might not ever be found.
Knowledge is great. Give me an epic on neurological pathways and both my mind and heart begin to flutter. Knowledge can be life changing and empowering. It rushes in like love, surging unbeknownst chemicals through every channel out the top of my head. Next thing I know, I’m wanting to dump the entire contents of REI into a knapsack and haul my new hiking boots up the farthest trail I can afford. But what happens when I find the route, camera in hand? The dirt starts to narrow, and as the air cools, I’m left face to face with a sunset of colors I swear I’ve never seen combined in this way before. When I get back and someone asks what I found, all I can seem to mutter is “God, it was really beautiful.” Words, a camera, their efforts suddenly seem small. It’s like asking whether or not you believe in such a thing as a coincidence. Research brings us so far – connectivity of the mind, ability to invent and interpret – but somewhere, the facts fall away. And we’re left with that same black summer sky that we quickly fill with lightning bugs. Searching. Lines of lights, piecing, one dot to the next. What’s the answer? I want to know. What’s the answer? Please, just tell me. But then, something shifts and suddenly, more than ever, I have this urge to let all the lightning bugs go. Send them on their way and see the summer sky as it is, without the effort of a million moving lights.
Story after story. I fill up, then let them go. In with the new, out with the old, one story after another. And no matter how many times I let them go, some will always find their way back. The ones that really matter, always come back.
I came across this story the other day from Radiolab. Actually the way in which I found it is a story within itself, a breadcrumb trail I’m glad I followed. This piece is the perfect example of how heartbreakingly beautiful all this unanswered madness can be.
Much Love. Sarah