‘I never speak the first word. I never make we first move.’*
“The years as they pass plunder us of one thing after another.”**
Each of us arrives in this life with a history, even if we’re unaware of it.
We sometimes speak of destiny, but where on earth does that come from? And yet it can make so much sense when we fall upon what we feel we were born to do. It’s as though we are coming back to some great knowing and cause, out of which we produce some gift or contribution for others.
These are the strange things we’re seeking to make sense of throughout our lives.
‘We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.’^
There is always something new for us to discover, though the best of the new comes with a struggle.
Jonah Lehrer suggests that, ‘Music only excites us when it makes the auditory cortex struggles to uncover its order.’^^ This provides us with a metaphor for lIfe. We’re seekers of the patterns that make sense to us. It’s all in the journey, though not any journey. Again, using the metaphor of music:
‘Pretty noises are boring. Music is only interesting when it confronts us with tension, and the source of tension is conflict.’^^
Try reading that again, inserting life for noises and music. I’m not suggesting chaos. We can’t survive chaos, but we can overcome more than we know, as we reach towards the note that will next come.
And finding ourselves back at the beginning, we start to explore once again.
(*From Eugene Peterson’s Run With the Horses.)
(**Horace, quoted in Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project.)
(^From T. S. Elliot’s Little Gidding.)
(^^From Jonah Lehrer’s Proust Was a Neuroscientist.)