Asking questions, as Socrates taught us, brings light and awareness, critical thinking, and activation.
My father’s philosophical bend along with his serious inquiry about the workings of nature led him to wonder what place humans have in the scheme of things. It led him to ask his children, his friends, and even strangers, “Why are we here?”
Perhaps there is some loneliness in the pursuit of understanding the reason for our birth on this planet, and that’s what prompted my Dad’s little project.
Maybe it allowed him room to question, like the carte blanc a journalist assumes with her duty to cover something important. Maybe it gave him permission to reach out so that he might make connection, create intimacy with another.
I am my father’s daughter and I have full permission to ask too. I give it to myself.
This week, the activating question is,
“Who are we?”
Actually, I have a month’s worth of questions to pose---one for the next four weeks . These questions when asked one at a time, with a little rest in between will lead us toward the last question, which, I don’t mind disclosing now, because it is the purpose of this inquiry and it might provide some motivation to ask the tough questions. Make no mistake, these questions are not for the faint of heart. They are especially not for the” too busy.”
The last question is: How do I feel about myself and my life? This is a question of Well Being.
But let’s not jump ahead. Back to question two.
“Who am I?”
One way to go at this question is to ask it multiple times, like this,
“What would nature say I am?”
“What would science say I am?”
“What would God say I am?”
“What would soul say I am?
French philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin answered it this way,
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
My favorite way of answering this question right now is through art. The “I am poem.”
Just say” I am” over and over and over, and think of nature,and the senses. Think of your essence, and beauty.
“I am the salty taste on sunburnt skin from ocean baptism.
I am the lonely call of the last seagull on the beach.
I am windswept and worn--permanent blown branches facing south.
I am rotten yet sweet smelling seaweed/fish/life/death/ and in between.
I am endless upon endless sight beyond blue, beyond gray, beyond line to more, more, more.”
And so it is.
Come to our next Meet-up of Yo-eco Art Walk. We will be hiking through Milbrook Marsh in State College and then writing an I am poem. Oct. 6 at 5:30.