Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Empty lament



I really miss knowing everything.  A decade or so ago you could have asked me anything and I would have had a clear, precise answer for you - no waffling, no maybe's, no if's or but's.  Be it God, Christianity, right, wrong, sin, politics, history or how the world works I knew the simple, obvious truths of it all.  What happened to me?  I thought you are supposed to become wiser with age.  I must have missed a turn somewhere because it seems to me that the older I get the less I understand.  The only thing I know now is that I don't really know much of anything.

Why is that?  Shouldn't I know a lot by now?  Why do I feel like I used to be full and now I am empty?  A lot has happened since the days when I knew everything about everything.  I have experienced joy and loss, hunger, death, disease, friendship, rejection, communion and loneliness.  These are the things that are supposed to make you wise aren't they?  I should really have a better grasp on the facts of life now than I ever did before.  Why do I have more questions than answers then?  For instance I used to think I understood being alone since I grew up alone and spent a lot of time alone but then I was locked in an isolation ward for 4 days - with no tv, radio, internet or any human contact except for when they shoved my food through the door - and suddenly I learned that I really didn't know a damn thing.  Four days is a long weekend, it's nothing, that's just a taste, what must true isolation be like?  Similarly, being sick and being poor just gave me enough of a glimpse to know that I know nothing of what those in severe poverty or with terminal illness go through.

So here I am, many years later.  Instead of everything I know nothing, instead of wise I feel foolish and instead of full I feel empty.  Where did I go wrong?

5 comments:

RandomSue said...

I was here.

Anj said...

But you have become wise. To see that life is full of depth and subtlety, that nothing is black and white, that there are more facets to any person, thing, or idea than any one mind can understand: this is wisdom.

Hello, I'm Angela. Nice to meet you. I stumbled across your blog some months ago, and I have been silently reading since then. Your blog is like an oasis from all the anger and venom churning through the internet. I'll probably go back to lurking, but I just wanted to say that even if you do not feel wise, your wisdom shines like a light through your words.

Keep seeking, wherever your path may lead.

GumbyTheCat said...

Smart people cram facts into their minds. Wise people make their mental horizons larger, so that they may process what they have learned and fashion that knowledge into a tool for both humbling and bettering themselves. Knowledge is a collection of facts... wisdom is knowing that you don't have all the facts, and are humble enough to admit it to yourself and others. It is the result of the equation "smarts + experience =".

With age comes wisdom, sometimes. You are becoming wise. Now, when you have snatched the pebble from my hand, Grasshopper, you will be ready. LOL

To Anj: This is the best unknown blog on the internet (at least that I've run across). Eugene's a gem.

Eugene said...

Thanks for the kindness everyone.

Nice to meet you too Angela, feel free to lurk as much as you like you are most welcome!

Plucky said...

This resonates with me because the older I get the more I realize how little I know . . . However, I'm also realizing (with age) that I don't have to understand everything to have faith . . . In fact, the more I internalize this the more at peace I am with God, family, friends and even uncontrollable circumstances . . .

Just saying that has been my experience to date . . .