The ecstasy of questions

I was struck the other day when I received this email – starting with a dose of everyday ecstasy and then flowing into a series of intriguing questions:

“I sat outside today and watched the cottonwood seeds flow throughout the sky – backlit by the sun. Amazing. It was like watching a deep ocean current, but up, enhanced by birds flowing though, and sometimes, dive-bombed as well. I could hear the thwack of the wings as they changed flight directions.

Balance – in life and in yin and yang…sitting, walking up four flights of stairs, all of  it, balanced. How do you measure balance in your life? If helping others is one of the most important things we do in life, how can we accomplish this if we sit behind a desk all day long?

Is it saying thank you? Is it doing the little things that we say we should do, and doing them freely and cheerfully, without comment or issue?

How does balance interweave with gratitude? Do we say thank you to life by just being there and being ready to step up when an opportunity occurs, not having judgment, and being in the moment?

And finally community…. I guess this is where it intersects…Yin and yang, it’s where the rubber meets the road. Expansion or contraction happens, where do we stand when the change occurs…happy or sad, judging or accepting? Gratitude for just breathing…. in and out, evenly, balance, that’s seems to be it, balance, the dance of equilibrium.

Gratitude, acceptance, graciousness, love – the bottom line of it all.”

I loved the questions most. They seemed to flow out of the cottonwood seeds, a comfortable conversation that took its joy from simply asking, submerging in those currents of air and emerging with armloads of enigmas to ponder.

How often do we get stuck in the need for conclusion? For an answer? And how much do we miss by searching so hard that the ecstasy of the question is lost? Sometimes, it is much more fulfilling to simply explore the possibilities.

I realize that the writer did come to a “bottom line” – gratitude, acceptance, graciousness, love. But for me, that still felt like the question, held and breathed and pondered and relished. Right there, in that moment, an emailed whirlwind of musings that left me wondering what love and gratitude and acceptance mean to me.

A few days later, she sent me a quote:

“i beg you…to  have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. and the point is, to live everything. live the questions now. perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer…”

I thought it was perfect.


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"You made my day yesterday. I'm still encapsulated in sunny-yellow, powerful warmth."  -Denise Lewis Premschak