by Tracy Bleier

The other night I was doing the dishes and my youngest son came into the kitchen bouncing a ball. Without looking up he asked me, “how long are our lives?” My impulse was to say, “a very long time.” Instead, I said, “Nobody really knows how long their lives are.”

He continued ball bouncing and seemed un-phased.

I tried to imagine from his perspective what “not knowing” feels like.

We wake up every day not knowing so much. Not knowing the big things like whether we will be alive tomorrow, or lose our jobs or our spouses or God forbid our children. Every day we learn about an unexpected loss or shift in a person’s life.   We don’t know what life will bring no matter how much we plan and organize ourselves around what we think we want. Our expectations of what we think will happen so often fall short of the reality of what does actually happen.

It’s no wonder we savor and cling to our practices: to have something that provides us with tools to feel safe amidst a world that can be so uncertain.

What can we know?

We can know our bodies. We can know that our feet are touching the ground. We can know our senses. We can know when we are present. We can know when we need support or guidance or a hug or space. We can know how to ask for what we need. And we can know how to listen better.

No matter our preferences of poses or places or people and no matter our differences, we are bound by the mysteries of the lives we share. Remembering that, wouldn’t it be wondrous if the one thing we could know is that we could depend upon each others’ kindness at all times and in every time?

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One thought on “On the Gift of Not Knowing

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