|This is the very first image that comes up in the Google image|
search for 'uncertain,' from the beautifully-written Water Foul
by Joe Nick Patoski, a lovely essay on ecology. Oddly, it came
up because it was taken in the town of Uncertain, Texas, not
because it's one of those weird quasi-inspirational stock photos.
That being said, I would like to quote her. "Life is uncertain." she writes. "I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, as the glass-half-empty people like to point out. (...) However.... right now, in this very moment, no matter what happens tomorrow, I am content."
(In addition to having some awesome Buddha-nature on display here, she also wins points with me because she confesses her weakness for edible goodies in this post. I'm a fan of any gal who can be won over by treats as easily as me.)
|Romanesco broccoli, a naturally-occurring (and edible!)|
fractal, from More To Explore: The Fort Collins Museum
and Discovery Science Center Blog. (Check it out!)
How does this relate to L.M.'s thoughtful statement about uncertainty? Well, I guess it's something like this. I dislike uncertainty because it makes me uncomfortable, on some deep neurotic level, not to know exactly what's going on, to feel like there's fog or loose ends or things not known. What L.M. is saying is something like this: what does it matter? Now is now. And that's absolutely right. Uncertainty, when taken beyond the experience of not knowing the best answer on the SAT (and who among you didn't hate that 'best answer' crap? Half the time ALL THE ANSWERS SUCKED) is basically a state of feeling the future to be in suspension. We feel like that creeps back and fucks us up right now, like not seeing down the road means we'll make a horrible turn right here and end up in the swamp.
But actually, that's not true. And what L.M. is saying - find contentment now, in the present moment - is right and good, because seeking it now is actually the only way to guarantee that you're making the right choice. We screw ourselves up, a lot, by following the demands of a future that looks clear and inviting but leaves us only one way to go, without room for wonder and happenstance and pleasure in the moment. And what the fractals are saying, in some odd and marvelous way, is that even when we feel like we're tipping over from uncertainty into chaos, a beautiful pattern may emerge that we could never have foreseen. Sometimes what looks like a mess is the beginning of something so vastly lovely we simply couldn't see it until we were in it to our necks.
So, I'm celebrating uncertainty. I have no idea, for example, how to make a Museum. But blogging about it, here and now, is a joy. I can't help feeling like this is exactly the thing to do, right now, that will take me one step at a time down the path of marvels.