Monday, August 12, 2013

The Great Questions

Throughout recorded history, the greatest minds have grappled with the Great Questions.  Not the OK Questions, not the Pretty Good Questions.  Not the Have Your Heard Questions.

The Great Questions.  What is it fully to be human?  What is it to live the Good Life?  What is it to live as if today were to be your last day?  Some give us answers that make us stop, and think.

Some of those in our little corner of the Internet challenge us in the same way.  Brigid is one of my daily reads, because when she's at her best she approaches Proust:
But what about those inner thoughts, those you don't tell anyone? Think to someone you once loved, or perhaps do now. If you had known then, what you know now, about your desire and theirs, would you have run away from the intensity of their gaze, those eyes possessing a wisdom all their own. Or would you, knowing what you know now, run to them with an ease and a comfort that no random coming together of two people could ever have produced.

Or would you have simply run away?
A Great Question.  Not an OK Question, or a Pretty Good Question.  Great.  A question that challenges us to the darkest pits of our soul.
You notice things. You notice the way he looks at her, this woman who is no longer a girl, as if he measured everything in his sight by the response it drew from her twinkling eyes. He lights her cigarette, with a look and a touch, the flame burning brightly, a star in miniature, expiring into the darkness with the rush of its need. You smile as they rush on in, never seeing you, traceless in your quiet detachment, the flame now vanished towards the distant moon, stars so far out of reach.

You think of someone else, a voice that paused with emotion when you laid out your hurt and your fear, words that comfort and ears that listened.
What might have been?  Where would the Road Not Taken lead?  Great Questions.

The Great Questions, of course, do not have answers.  That is not their purpose.  It is said that if you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.  God does not give us answers, but rather the Great Questions.  What is it fully to be human?  What is it to live the Good Life, as God and we would wish?   What is it to live as if this very day we would find ourselves Bound For Glory?

Read Brigid's whole post, which may be her very best ever.  It answers no questions; on the contrary, it asks questions that challenge us.  Great Questions.  Being human is a quest.  A journey, not a destination.  Like with the Arthurian Knights of old, you enter the trackless wilderness at a lonely place where no man has set foot, each striking out on his or her own in what can only be considered an act of the highest impertinence to an uncaring universe.  Because the finding is not possible without the seeking.

RTWT, twice.


Opinionated Grump (Rich in NC) said...

... all started with a covered bridge...

Rich in NC

Stephanie Belser said...

I get a virus warning when I load your page. Kaspersky is flagging one of the images.

Borepatch said...

Stephanie, that's odd. McAfee here at the office isn't complaining about anything.