With satellite maps at our fingertips, it is almost impossible to get lost in the world anymore. If I think I know where I am going, I am likely to miss all the beautiful details of discovery. I may not even be able to describe the landmarks or paths that took me to my destination. What is distinct about right here?
I am at a concert, excitedly waiting to see if the band plays my favorite song. We are packed at the front of the stage. The guy whom I am pressed up against pulls out his mobile device and looks at setlist.com, and–poof–the mystery is gone, my song will not be played.
We need maps, diagrams, plans, and information. But some of my most memorable experiences are of not knowing, of lostness. My senses are heightened, I remember every detail because much depends on my attention. Walking in Venice, on a hike in the woods, painting in my studio. I want to be surprised, I want to not know where this is going. I want to be solidly in the path, in the moment.
Vulnerability, uncertainty, chaos, anxiety. There is no failure while I still have the opportunity to try, that is why we do not judge someone’s life until they die. We go so far out of our way to avoid pain or intensity. Our arrogance deflects what is possible. Our money pads us from suffering. Sureness discounts wonder. I want to feel it all. The highs and lows do not stand out without all that blended color that is in the middle of our not knowing.