What Do I Know? The Most Important Question

what do I know

What do I Know?

Montaigne

The question, and it is a question and not a retreat into silence. “What do I know” rockets our minds, imaginations and curiosities forward at a blinding speed, at times so quickly we don’t wait to find an answer, but if we want to know why, if we want to know how and if we want to know at all, we need to continually brace ourselves with this question. “What do I know?”

A couple of words lined up in front of a question mark, yet once spoken or thought they grow like popcorn kernels lying on the bottom of an old kettle hot upon a stove, expanding in all directions, searching with fever for an answer that will fit into the correct hole.Or not fit into any hole at all, but create it’s own never before seen receptacle.

The question could also be the perfect Zen Koan sitting within a dusty collection just outside a gate-less gate. “What do I know?” is asked by a rather disheveled monk to an equally disheveled monk. The 2nd monk laughs as he turns and starts to walk away, but then stops and says “I have no experience of that, brother” and continues walking away.

No one can tell us what we know, what is our own experience within a moment. But if we fail to ask ourselves in each moment “What do I know” many people will answer for us.

“What do I know” is the tip of a paint brush when it first touches the blank canvas, it’s the cracking of a fresh notebook upon one’s lap. “What do I know” exposes the image upon the film when your finger first touches the shutter, it’s your fingers in a can of nails before the hammer hits. “What do I know” plays out as you open the sheet music when no one is watching, or maybe it’s laying in the night time grass gazing up at the stars.

“What do I know” is catalyst beyond self connecting us to something bigger than our own small selves, its hope, beauty, and yes even love we can use to know why, how and to know the steady flow of curiosity cascading all around us.

 

 

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