(Art by Gary Turchin)
What is your relationship with the unknown? Do you try to answer every question and figure out what is going to happen?
I know I do. I grew up in a family where “What’s the plan?” was a daily question. We didn’t step out the door without knowing where we were going.
That’s why my life is such a surprise to me lately. Every day is full of wonder as I realize that I have no idea what is coming next. I can plan all I want, but creation happens in the space of the unknown.
Like writing this blog. I make plans for topics I want to cover. Then I start writing and the writing shapes itself into something else. Our lives are like this. Our jobs. Our relationships. Our conversations. Even our fundraising efforts. We don’t really know how things are going to turn out.
We predict. We plan. Then the unexpected occurs and our “need to know” instinct kicks in. We come up with explanations and reasons for why or we say, “That was meant to be.” Really? How do we know?
Notice how we rush to fill the space of not knowing with certainty.
I was sitting on the train this week in front of two older guys who hadn’t seen each other in awhile. They were both musicians and talking about the music business.
First they lamented the lack of freshness in today’s music, nostalgic not for the music of the past but for the energy of the era when rock music was born. “Why are kids still listening to the old music instead of creating something new for themselves?”
Then they started trading info about various musicians, comparing notes on albums and songs they liked. One of them said, “The best music right now is full of complex rhythms. I never like it on the first listen but after a few times…”
“Yeah,” the other guy said, “It’s about surrender. You have to surrender to the music and let it reveal itself to you.”
Surrender to the unknown this week. See what happens.