Questions and Answers

Reading today from Mary Oliver’s Roses, Late Summer:

If I had another life

I would want to spend it all on some

Unstinting happiness.

I would be a fox, or a tree

Full of waving branches.

I wouldn’t mind being a rose

In a field full of roses.

Fear has not yet occurred to then, nor ambition.

Reason they have not yet thought of.

Neither do they ask how long they must be roses, and then what.

Or any other foolish question.

It occurs to me in reading this and letting it settle in that the nature of a life is in large part determined by the questions one asks – the questions, not the answers.  Not to suggest that the answers lack significance, but the answers are frequently not within our control, and correct or not, seem to do little to provide understanding.  The questions, on the other hand, are ours to be asked and explored — or not.  Which points me to Albert Einstein: “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

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