Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Unknown





There are two types of knowing.

First, things I know that I don’t know: how to say plum blossom in Chinese or how to make notes drop like pearls from the piano, or why my mama died of ovarian cancer.

These are more like limitations. Ignorance acknowledged.

Then there are the things that I don’t know that I don’t know. Unknown unknowns. Not even possibilities. A whole sky of darkness surrounding something just as tenebrous.
     
Searching all night for an unknown absence is not only futile, but why would I be out looking in the first place?

As a naïve art student, an art professor told me to mix red and green paint, I had not ever in my life considered the possibility of grey. GREY! I had not been looking for grey. Yet there is was. Pure neutrality between the bright stars. Knowledge. Oh had I only known! Painting shadows will never be the same.

The unknown unknowns—black ice hiding on the road. Innocently taking your foot off the gas, who knew anything else would happen, other than slowing down. The desperate and horrible wreckage of what no one had reason to consider…

And yet there are other unknown unknowns. Goodness that arrives unannounced—sudden enlightenments that retain so much mystery they can only be called miracles.

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5 comments:

Craig and Bethany said...

I always wonder at the things that God allows to arrive unannounced. A skinned knee, a child's laugh, a broken pot, congenital cataract, a kiss. Every moment up to the precipice is altogether different, pastel, innocent, like the very last wisps of a sigh. Then the tide turns and my lungs fill with new air. Guess you can only hold one lung full (or two) at a time.

Pig Woman said...

I am thinking there is one other kind of unknown-- the one where I think I know....but I don't. It is the unknown of wrong assumptions, wrong teaching, failure to discern all the facts, failure to look at all sides and under the surface. It is the unknown of thinking you are throwing out a paper bag of trash sitting on the floor, only to find that that trash was actually the sacred bag of saved mementos, treasured papers and childhood memories. These are the types of unknowns I regret the most.

But hey, I am once again working on that piano unknown. Get to practicing, Seesta! There is music to be played.

Love your comment, Bethany.

Olson Family said...

Something that long intrigues me: those who relish moments of sweet possibility-turned-reality... simply because they never considered, DIDN'T KNOW, that it was possibly impossible.

If I thought I might one day play that piece without fits and starts...

If I didn't pause to consider that learning a foreign language is too difficult...

Unknown to me... this next try...

Goat said...

Ah yes seesta--the unknown masked as a known. I hate that one. Especially coming from a family that values intellegence. You know what I mean.....

Yes, undaunted by the knowns, I too will head for the piano. Hope as my halo.

No listening in. HAHAHAHA

Olson Family said...

No listening in.

...And then one day...

smile.