” ‘Is that how it is for you?’ I asked.
‘Is what how it is for me?’
‘Do you still know everything, all the time?”
She shook her head. She didn’t smile. She said. “Be Boring, knowing everything. You have to give all that stuff up if you’re going to muck about here.”
“So you used to know everything?”
She wrinkled her nose. “Everybody did. I told you. It’s nothing special, knowing how things work. And you really do have to give it all up, if you want to play.”‘
–Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
When I was younger, I used to believe that I wanted to understand everything. Not necessarily everything there was to know, I don’t believe I was that foolish. I wanted to understand everything and everyone I came across. I’m rather happy these days that I didn’t get that foolish desire granted. Can you imagine what life would be without the fun of discovery? I love having bits and pieces of knowledge that I can put together like a jigsaw puzzle with lots of blue sky and grass that I can only start to see patterns of shade in. It feels awesome when another piece clicks into place. Once in awhile I get a fleeting glimpse of the shape of the whole puzzle but I know I can never carry that. Besides, while I still want to understand (grock fully) as much as possible, I don’t want to give up the play of figuring it out as I go along. It is the play that keeps me humble and feeling young beyond my years.
I heartily recommend The Ocean at the End of the Lane, the newest book by Neil Gaiman. His combination of myth and masterful storytelling has crafted a truly compelling fairy tale for adults
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