On three occasions this past week, I found myself lost in the world.
Twice in my neighbourhood and the third time a bit farther out, though still a place with which I am well acquainted.
In one, I turned a corner onto a street I had walked many times before and it appeared utterly different to me. I even stopped and muttered ‘where am I?’ My brain needed a few seconds to sort itself out, recall what we were expecting and then began to see a few of the familiar things – signs, buildings, landmarks. ‘Oh, yes. OK…I see.’
Then this experience repeated twice more within a matter of days.
knock! knock! knock!
Has this ever happened to you?
The quality to this experience for me is disorienting, even dizzying. It doesn’t last long, a handful of seconds. But in that brief time, something happens…
…a crack breaks open in the code of my life.
Personally I enjoy this kind of disorientation. It’s not unfamiliar. I welcome it as a gift.
In those seconds, I feel like a kid again; the world looms so large and mysterious and unknown before me. I feel like I have no body, I experience myself as a kind of floating nothingness. Where am I? Who am I? What’s happening?
Those seconds of disorientation offer a portal, a glimpse, into all-that-I-don’t-know. It is a potent reminder that I am just an experience, of many, in an infinite, mysterious world.
Even the most basic, elementary things I think I know – perhaps I really don’t. Perhaps there is nothing at all that should be left off the table; what can I really be sure of?
And can I be okay with not being sure of anything? Where does that leave me?
This is a breaking apart, and allowing, that’s been happening for many years. Where it is nudging me towards is more permeability, more flexibility, more curiosity, less attachment to who I might think I am and what I think I know.
I receive this as a gift.
Especially now when I think it would be good for us to question all we think we know. I think this would be a gift most especially for people who think they do question everything already. Because this is ultimately not about questioning what is outside of ourselves.
It’s questioning what is inside.
What is the realest of the real for you, and could it be false? Or something else entirely?
Are you willing to even entertain the question?
Photo by Louis Maniquet on Unsplash