The Wondering Wanderer

by | Apr 15, 2022

I wonder, I wonder a lot. Probably far too much.

I wonder if other people wonder as much as I do, probably? Maybe?

I wonder if me wondering that very thought is somehow egotistical or arrogant, “look at me, the great wonderer”

I wonder if wondering is in many ways a setback for progress, at least for the wonderer. To wonder is both magical and terrifying.

There are times where everything becomes clear, those great mysteries of the world, the universe and beyond all seem to suddenly fit together, the puzzle completes, just for a moment. Then, a giant sledge hammer smashes through the puzzle, pieces fly everywhere and once again I am clueless to the great beyond.

There is a reason artists carry their tools of trade around with them, whether that’s a small guitar for the musician, a pen and pad for the writer or a small easel, brush and oil paints for the painter. It is a necessary for the artist to do these things because the magic upon the wondering mind stumbles can be as quickly lost, as it was found. Sometimes I’ll stumble across the most magnificent of fantastical stories in my mind, tales of magical lands, with hero’s, evil villains, unworldly creatures and a killer plot to boot. But these little bags of magic come my way at the most inconvenient of times – while I’m driving, whilst I’m knee deep in oil doing some repairs, or lying in bed half asleep.

I’ve tried to keep pen and paper to hand, but they remain in place where I put them,  the time never seems to arrive where they are needed. It’s like these bags of magic are slung over the backs of little elves, and the elves are watching me, waiting to catch me off-guard and unprepared. Because eventually, they pay me a visit once more and boom, no pen, no paper!

I wonder if anyone really cares about what I have to say about this, and I wonder if that even matters. Probably not, not to me at least. Or does it? Because why does one go to the effort of writing anything if it is not to be read? And, if the intention was never for the writing to be read, then why publish such things in a public space?

I wonder much on this, and I think for me at least, the answer is simple. I find relief in translating my wonder into some kind of readable language. The mind is great at understanding in real-time the thoughts within, but then when trying to reconsider those thoughts at a later point in time, well, forget about it, it ain’t happening.

So, some of it for me at least, is relief, an unloading of thoughts which fill up my headspace. But it’s not just that, it is also to be read by another, and thus at some level understood by another. When we speak in our day to day lives with people we often are not exactly being our true selves. We invent different versions of ourselves depending on the company we are in. Often our insecurities and anxiety don’t portray our true self, the real self remains hidden away. Sometimes situations and circumstances necessitate this. Sometimes we hide our naked-self because it may not benefit the goal of the interaction. With the exception of those with psychopathic tendencies, the raw-self is probably far more interesting for others to see. If we could all express and say the things on our mind when confronting all the interactions life throws at us, we’d probably all have reached many of those seemingly unobtainable goals we dream of. Writing offers a solution to this, it allows us to contemplate and structure our thoughts without an audience. The things you may hesitate to openly speak through fear of judgement and ridicule can be expressed freely without barriers, after all, at the time of writing you are in a private place, just you, your pen and the paper upon which you bare all (modern day tools are somewhat more varied than this, but less poetic also, so we’ll pretend). You have a choice after all, maybe you decide to never make public these writings, maybe you tear it up and throw it away, hell, burn it! Far more dramatic!

But of course, the decision to share your mind, after it’s already been translated onto paper, reassessed, contemplated, edited and corrected where necessary, is a far easier choice to make than deciding to vocally achieve the same thing. A click of a mouse, or dropping the letter in the mailbox can still be nerve-racking, raise a small sweat even. But you can face the consequences later on, you can hide away for now, face the music later. While confronting an individual, group or an audience of people head on, with the translation of your mind yet to come, well, that’s a far harder thing to deliver accurately and honestly. I am sure some can do just this, but I suspect it is rare, very rare indeed.

When we are children, we often have very ambitious dreams. Some want to be a professional footballer, some want to be a famous rockstar, a painter, or maybe even a candlestick maker!. Parents and teachers are often quick to dismiss these as little more than childhood fantasies, unfortunately this lack of belief or support in a child’s dreams helps to build the future limitations of the child, the invisible boundaries of their reality. This little fact is why the modern schooling system is such a disaster for so many children, it quashes the potential greatness of a child in return for safety and numbers. The safety of avoiding failure and to ensure the machine keeps its numbers up. The great machine upon which modern society runs upon requires a set of pre-defined cogs in order for it to continue chugging along. What the machine doesn’t need is free thinking individuals who may ponder on the inner workings of the machine itself. The machine does not need, actually let’s be clear, the machine detests open minds, wondering minds, minds that may just stumble upon the truth of it all. School is a creation of the machine, for the machine, and every parent would be wise to remember this.

I urge everyone to never give up on the things they love, never give up the paintbrush, the pen, the guitar, or whatever else it is that makes you lose yourself and find inner peace. Life without joy is no life at all, and while the machine continues to beat us for its next penny, relentlessly and without end, it’s ok to leave it be, let it roll on, let it knock at your door, it’ll wait—after all, the machine, for the most part, is an artificial construct built by the machine—most of its power is illusionary.

And with that, I’ll leave you to wonder what the point and message of this all was, if indeed there was a point at all!

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