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Enigma • Posted: Jan 06, 2013 12:52:53Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

It's a curious aspect of the human condition that when we know the story, we aren't curious anymore. However, when mystery remains, we are entranced.

On the other hand, so many stories that have gained our attention over the last few years have troubled us for their shock value. They disturb us, so we dare not fail to pay attention least something similarly horrible head our way. And in the process, we are growing weary, extremely weary of being reminded constantly of how inadequate we feel in face of so many horribly disturbing actual and impending tragedies. We are wearier still of so overwhelmingly many hard-sell solutions offered us to purchase, commit to, or acquiesce to. We are so assaulted at every turn we are on the verge of explosion into anger and hostility or, desperate for self-preservation, tuning out altogether, slamming the door on the rest of the world. "Let it take care of itself," we are about to say. "I'm going to take care of me."

How very different the set of feelings we enjoy when confronted with a teasing mystery, an enigma. We want to know the story behind the mystery. What we see doesn't fit into how we thought the world should be and we wonder: why? What is the basis for this discrepancy? We may even be prompted to invest time and effort into resolving our curiosity. And, we will do it for free, with no coercion whatsoever. Our resourcefulness is rallied, as is our imagination. And in the process, our anger and most of our fears dissipate. We are once again as little children, fascinated, itching to explore, to uncover facts and piece them together into a more clear understanding of this unusual thing in front of us that intrigues us.

Of course, once we understand the mystery, we lose interest, forget about it, and move on. Though for some of us, the solution to one mystery leads us to wonder more deeply. And, we are often intrigued anew. We might even find ourselves in a perpetual state of wonderment and fascination, brimming with desire to share what we've found.

Time to set up shop and charge for what we've discovered? How foreign, how sacrilegious that sounds. Why can we not just share, for free, with everyone? In fact, couldn't that be the basis for a new kind of human economy? I mean, birds and animals don't charge each other for things, and exploit each other for personal gain. Sure, they may fight over enjoyment of a limited find. But for the most part, they share freely knowledge of life's wonderment and bounty, each individually consumed by its enigmatic majesty and breadth.

What is the meaning of big eyes and pursed red lips? Of rouged cheeks and curled hair, high collars and fur hats? And of a provocatively whispered whistled tune? So much of that seems so familiar, but then again, so much seems so very unusual. What is, what is the meaning behind these intriguing enigmas?

May your fascinations and curiosities lead you calmly out of every fear, sorrow, worry, and frustration you have.

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012