About what matters

Writing about what really matters

The beauty of uncertainty

Truth doesn’t depend on me to define it. –Sy Safransky, founder and editor of The Sun

Yesterday at an antique mall, I bought a beautiful Noritake dish. I’m not sure what it is–a celery dish? a relish dish? it’s oblong–and I definitely don’t know its pattern name. It has a white ground surrounded by a peach (non-lustre) band, with black edging and a gorgeous Deco floral pattern.

I did a little searching to try to determine the pattern name, with no luck. Then I remembered the beauty of uncertainty.

One of the best things I’ve ever learned was that I don’t need to know everything. This works out well, because it turns out I can’t know everything.

When I was much younger and still in the mindset of the fringey fundamentalist religion I was raised in, I had most if not all of the answers. If you asked me, I would tell you. For years I kept my head buried in the sand, like a child playing peek-a-boo with the truth. Eventually I was forced to acknowledge that I really didn’t have the keys to the Universe. They’d crumbled as I gripped them tightly in my hand.

Perhaps now that I’ve released the need to understand everything, I know far more than I did before. I now believe that Love is the key to the Universe. What more do you need to know than that?

There’s another advantage too. Recently I was recounting an experience I’d had, and the woman I was talking to moved closer to me and said, “That’s bullshit!!” with great emphasis. She told me that because neither she–nor her husband–had ever experienced her interpretation of what I was talking about, it simply didn’t exist. Good to know.

So the other advantage is, if you don’t think you know and understand all the mysteries of the Universe, or even those of this funky little world we find ourselves in right now, you’ll probably never find yourself shouting “Bullshit!” in someone else’s face. I am thinking that can only be a good thing.

Here’s to not knowing it all.


Four perfect figs

… It is in the smallest details that the flavor of life is savored.
–Sarah Ban Breathnach

This morning for breakfast, along with my usual farm egg, I had four perfect figs. Little baby figs, about the size of my thumb above the joint. Lavender purple and green, tender, smooth, perfectly sweet. Delectable, in a word, with tiny seeds just whispering texture. Each bite (eight, in all) was a moment of perfect pleasure.

It’s at times like these that I’m so pleased I’ve made time to go to the farmer’s market. These figs were grown onsite, about two miles from my home. The only things more local are the basil and oregano I grow on my front porch, or the peppers that grow in my flower bed. (They have a lovely little purple blossom before the pepper comes, and truly beautiful foliage.)

Yesterday was a particularly busy Saturday, with errands and appointments in three cities, including my own. The organization required to get to all of them on time seemed akin to a military operation. The reward is these wonderful figs.

Not all my farmer’s market purchases turn out so well. There was the watermelon that had all the sweetness of your average vegetable, not to mention the huge fibrous peach that required baking to make it palatable.

But when it pays off, it pays off big. I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot. Even the gourmet grocery store has nothing to hold a candle to these.

This afternoon, I bought the farmer’s market pottery berry basket I’ve been wanting a reason to own. Next Saturday, I hope to fill it to the brim with perfect figs.

%d bloggers like this: