Life coming out of the unknown, streaming out of the future like a river or a breeze that’s blowing on your face from far away.
When I don’t know it feels like a field that has a path in it, but I don’t know where the path is. There is one that I will take but I won’t know where it is until I find my feet walking on it. Facing the many possible paths without even knowing what they are is facing the mystery. I feel a presence there, an immanence, feel like Ferron sings: “I’m nobody’s saviour and nobody’s mine either, yet I hear the desert wind whisper, neither are we alone.” Yes, Ferron! And to do it in a song like you do adds to the mystery! Where’d you get that song but from the unknown?
Ever sitting here on the edge of the unknown, filled with feelings of a million ways to be. Dread, exhilaration, curiosity, gratefulness. Feeling myself as the one on the brink. Would it sound familiar to you that I sometimes experience this as a burden that condemns me to a solitary confinement as I walk around in the world of men? That I sometimes experience it as a humorous inevitability that I can barely contain? That I’m filled with love for my fellow man knowing that I share this delicious experience with that? That I know others occupy this space too, each in their own way? How could they not!
Am I good with the unknown or do I secretly want to figure it out, to know it so I can be safe with it? Could I make a deal with the unknown, a deal with God? My deal with God. I think I can trust “Him” to be a trustworthy contractee. Not one to try and pull a fast one on his creation.
So here’s what I want. (It’s tricky trying to negotiate with the almighty since “He” doesn’t appear as a separate form. There’s no one to sign, for example.)
I would like, says I, to give up the negotiating about the unknown and just live in the unknown. I’d like to not have to renegotiate daily as if the last decision wasn’t good enough. I’d like to do it just once and for all.
Well sure, why don’t you just go ahead and do that then. Sounds good. No problem.[Easy for You to say, think I. You with your everlasting and your universe’s springing into being. Your big bang, or Great Radiance as some are calling it these days.]
I immediately recognize that there’s no Grand Statement like that to be made that doesn’t just scream to be slapped down immediately. By me if no one else. I’ll have to approach the unknown by accident, just kind of sneak up on it casual like, as if I didn’t even know it was there. Offer gentle reminders maybe when I stray. Give gentle indulgence when I slip such as a mother gives her child and maybe a few of a father’s stern but equally loving slaps.
Or maybe just let the unknown do it!
7 thoughts on “A word from the unknown”
We’re a great mystery, everything said, the things they done, those old time Indians was all about learning to live with that mystery. Not solving it, not coming to grips with it, not even trying to guess it out. Just being with it.
Richard Wagamese from Medicine Walk.
Brother, you ask The Known to give you clues about the Unknown…known you are asking from the Known Unknown!
Yes, I sense oft’times I love on that brink…in reality we are all there always allways.
Good to meet you, to sit w/ you there, in that ledge, to peer inwards, for words, outwards, yes, alone, and yes with You, you, out there in here, We are.
Greetingd, from Mar’s
yikes i sent it unedited…Mis-takes…
how a mis-spelt word affects the effect….ah, well. The
intent is still
So Andrew, which is it? Are you good with the unknown or do you secretly want to figure it out? I recently read the profile piece in the New Yorker of Leonard Cohen. He was an extravagant trying to figure it outer, hither and yon from Mt. Baldy to teachers around the globe for 30 or 40 years. With great relief at 82 he’d finally made his peace with the spiritual quest. The knowing he seemed to imply after all that was he was ready to go forward, into the unknown.
Nice, thanks Brian. I’ve heard Wagamese is really good but haven’t read him. Heard him on Shelagh Rogers’ show!
Always and allways 🙂 Yes!
I suspect the thing is beyond our usual categories that set us up for coming down on one side or another. Good ole Leonard though. The night he died his video was playing on the Berlin U-Bahn (underground). I guess he took Berlin after all.