In keeping with yesterday's observation of how the greater likelihood of you being hit by things excludes such phenomena as meteors, rogue Uber vehicles, and unattended skateboards in favor of ideas, and concepts, you're further driven to conclude how such ideas and concepts are connected to that greatest of all enigmas, the mystery.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
You consume novels shelved under the heading of mystery to the same degree persons you know consume M and Ms, your tastes in nonfiction running toward speculations or explanations of problems plaguing humanity and of topics where some aspect of humanity or the physical plane upon which humanity finds itself lodged tweak your curiosity to the point where you wish to have their workings unfolded.
Thus your enjoyment of a process in which a matter presents itself to you as a mystery, offers some clues (not all of which are reliable), then challenges you to investigate with enough dilligence to provide some solution for yourself.
Most processes of interest to you tick along at their own reliable pace, your understanding of them of no consequence to them, yet of monumental importance to you. Your understanding of the various processes with which you are confronted help you become the you of your fondest youthful dreams and aspirations as well as the you of whom you've been at some pains to improve these last several years.
You engage this self-editing with a growing sense of responsibility to the extraordinary good fortune of having been born to the surroundings and conditions in which you now find yourself.
Your resume includes the various occupations and interests associated with writers who, from the necessity of making a living and the coeval necessity of curiosity pursued interests in such fields as philosophy, music, anthropology, physics, education, and marketing, not to forget a summer of being a housepainter's apprentice, a solderer of telephone line connections, a delivery person for a butcher, a box boy at a supermarket, and a dogsbody for an auctioneer.
All this was grist for the mill of having things to write and think about in your urgent wish to become a writer and, then, to see proof and validation of your wishes come-to-life.
Mystery represents to you the questions of how, what if, why not, and how about. You come upon things, yourself included, with one or more of those questions, tugging at your sleeves for attention, then pestering you until you seek, then find satisfactory answers.
For days, weeks, sometimes even years, these satisfactory answers remain satisfactory--until you are hit with ideas, concepts, and questions that cause you to begin the process of reexamining your previously held satisfactory answers. In metaphor, this process is reexamining yourself much as you reread a favored novel, poetry collection, or transformative work of inquiry known as nonfiction.
Some days, you doubt you will ever solve the one mystery you feel you must solve before you can take on the daunting task of solving such others as appear before you in dreams, in dreamless sleep, and waking hours--the mystery of you.
Some days, when you are hit by ideas, questions, and concepts, you feel as though you've done the equivalent of moving from a large city, say Los Angeles, driven to a remote corner of desert, then stood to regard the night sky, filled with the same sense of awe and wonder you felt that memorable day you first entered the Powell Library as an undergraduate at UCLA.
Posted by Shelly Lowenkopf at 4:30 PM