Tuesday, December 28, 2010

You can't know sky

“If you’re not from the prairie you don’t know sky,
You can’t know the sky.”-  David Bouchard[1]

         It’s hard work knowing what you don’t know. Harder still, knowing what you can’t know. Let’s face it, most of the human experience falls into the category of things you can’t know. If you are a man reading this, just imagine trying to talk intelligently about the experience of childbirth. You don’t have to take too many steps down that road to see that you are lost. Humbling business, isn’t it?  Perhaps there is something beautiful there as well. That’s why I fell so hard for David Bouchard’s Poem, “If You’re Not From the Prairie”[2]. It reminded me of what I do not and cannot know. When I’m aware of my assumption of knowing, I can remind myself to ask and listen. Life is easier when you ask and listen[3].

         So many of my “cringe” moments are all about the assumption of knowing. When I was younger I just could not see what I didn’t know. One thing I really did not know is what information other people held (at least until I learned to ask). I was so eager to show people what I knew, without much consideration of whom I was talking to. As a young man, I spent a lot of time either telling people things that they already knew quite well or telling them things that they knew where just plain old wrong.  Cringe! I wish I could say that I have transcended my youthful arrogance……ummmmm, not so much. I still have to work very hard at curbing that impulse.

          I should have more to say about this, it seems like it should  lead into something more profound than, “Hey, Corey, shut up and listen for a change”, but that about sums it up. Again, it’s hard work- my people are talkers.

[1] A line from the poem “If you’re not from the prairie”.
[2] I could not find a link to the text alone, but here is a saccharine flavored rendition set to music. I hate it, but turn the sound off and just read the text: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMC6BA8RRIg
[3] Of course now I feel like a hypocrite, blogging is the antithesis of what I’m talking about!

No comments:

Post a Comment