Like a text message marriage proposal, some questions are too big for the medium in which they’re asked.
Last week, a question so big and unwieldy took my inbox, and me, by surprise. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.
“Where is your curiosity taking you?”
Isn’t every decision influenced in at least some small way by curiosity? I wonder what that job would be like, what life would be like if I lived there, how my stomach might feel after eating only pies for a day. Then, we get that new job. We move there. We stuff ourselves with pie for breakfast, lunch, dinner and fourthmeal.
Or, for those set in their ways, perhaps life is more influenced by curiosity satisfied. We like these types of books, this kind of work, and only eating pie after dinner. We found our good place thanks to some curiosity-aided missteps, and now we are set.
The question also needs some context. Yesterday, I was a little bit curious about roasting broccoli and cauliflower together in my new oven which doesn’t have a beep when the preselected temperature is reached, so curiosity took me to a much-longer-than-expected experiment. In a month, my curiosity is taking me to France to learn French, and to do some cooking, and with any luck, some French cooking. After that, who knows?
How to stay curious on levels starting at broccoli and going beyond is the challenge. Daily repetition causes me, at least, to gloss over the details. I get lost in thoughts. At work, there are tour carts driven around every few minutes with commentary and history a-plenty provided by the drivers. On a daily basis, that is so many tours! And so many people on each tour! And how fun to be in a place that is filled with so many stories! And yet, without special attention, all of those individual details get lost, bleeding together into one general ‘tour cart.’ If I tried instead to guess which state or country each tour group was from, based on the logos of their shirts, perhaps I could make each moment more memorable. Yet, by focusing so much on the present, am I keeping myself from reverie that allows me to noodle through bigger issues? It’s an ongoing question.
On a more immediate level, my curiosity has led me to this letter. A letter. Our letter. I promised some of you more regular updates on projects and passions now that Monstrous Me has been published. But I’ve had more on my mind lately, and since I get uncomfortable putting myself out there in a purely self-promotional sense, I’m trying this letter, partially to honor a longstanding family tradition of letter-writing that I’ve let wane, and mostly to stay in touch with those of you have been supportive and caring and provocative over these many years.
With that, I’d prefer this not just be a letter for me. I would much rather have it be a letter for us. I am writing this letter to you, after all. So, what are you wondering about? Working on? Struggling with? This is a group of people who write and lead and read and run and cook. Let’s help each other figure it out.
Now here we are, with a curious new letter format filled with more questions than answers. Like most things, I suppose.
Where is your curiosity taking you?