The questions we ask ourselves.

Monday morning. An uncharted day.

My afternoon was to have been busy – but I made a mistake in dates and now, it’s wide open.

How will I fill it? Or is it, spend it? Or use it up? How shall I pass the time?

Perhaps rather than any of the above, I need to see my time as a time to live wild and free. Bold and fierce.

Maybe, rather than asking myself, ‘How shall I pass the time?’, I invite myself into the day with the question, “How shall I live these hours fully-heartedly in love with my life today?”

And then, as Rilke invites, ‘to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language.‘ so that I can ‘live the questions now.’

Ah… to live the questions as if they are a book written in a very foreign language.

Memory stirs. Athens. My then-husband driving. I am navigating. I know where we want to get to but am totally lost. My map is in English. The roadsigns in Cyrillic. Which I can’t read.

I try to decipher them. Quickly. I am losing ground as he tries desperately to stay with the traffic which is a cacophony of blaring horns and angry voices of drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and donkey cart drivers all vying for the same piece of road.

My driver is frustrated. Getting angrier by the minute.

I try to decipher the signs faster and faster as the temperature goes up in the car with the ferocity of a Chinook wind blowing in off the Rockies.

I am not succeeding.

Suddenly, I fold up the map and declare, “Let’s get lost.”

He laughs (sort of). “We are lost!”

Right. We are.

Then… let’s stay lost. Rather than seeking the pre-determined destination, let’s see where the road leads us. Let’s be open to the adventure!

I’d like to say that’s what we did but, if memory serves me well, we chose the safer route. (My idea of adventure and his were not the same.) We found a tourist office and acquired concise directions to take us to the inn we had booked for our week in Athens.

But what if… what if we’d stayed on the lost path? What if we’d chosen to keep travelling into the unknown.

Today, it isn’t the what if’s about the past that makes the difference. It’s the lessons learned, the growth experienced, the memories made of the journies taken.

I have never forgotten that drive through Athens. It was the genesis of my journey into letting go of my need to know every step of the journey before it began and my desire to stay rigidly attached to the outcome. It was the beginning of learning to trust in the process rather than the plan.pic

12 thoughts on “The questions we ask ourselves.

  1. This resonates with me, Louise. I, like you, would more often have chosen the ‘go with the flow’ route. My husband would break out in a sweat from the moment he knew he was lost till he was given clear directions (unlike many men, would stop and ask for directions twenty times, if need be).

    It reminded me of my first ever weekend away from the family. I went into the Eastern Townships to meet a bunch of strangers for a dinner. I booked for the long weekend so that I could spend some time with myself. When I got back, I told Mick: Do you know what I did? To his reply of What? With a smirk I could not hold back, I told him I took a road that I didn’t know where it would lead…. He snorted in response šŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Getting lost is simply part of my life’s roadmap. Would not change any of the “wrong roads” I took for they led to some neat, interesting destinations. My only regret, I played it safe a few times too many! And I will never know what was at the end of that road “around the bend, over the hill or down in the valley over the bridge!”
    BTW most of the unknown roads were as a result of riding my motorcycle and NOT wanting to take that gravel road or cow path!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah yes, – those ‘wrong roads’ which aren’t wrong, just different, other than planned, sometimes adventures with a little mis-step in them! šŸ™‚

      And I remember meeting you and Marv that first time Iwona — after you’d driven across Canada on yur motorcycles. I was (still am) so in awe of your power, verve and joie de vie!


  3. Sometimes one sticks to the script and sometimes one goes rogue. The day and the setting seem to determine which role comes to the forefront. As to “found time” (for me being on call and not getting called felt like found time) I love to fill it with long walks and creative endeavors.

    Liked by 1 person

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