Monday, January 21, 2013

What is your question?

I realized something rather basic but profound about myself last night while lost in deep conversation. My most foundational question in life is "How?" That head space and mind posture is how I approach every piece of information and circumstance initially, often lingering there far too long for others comfort. How?

This came to me after a long discussion about pretty much everything under the sun with my Dad that lasted till long after my usual bedtime during a work week. We tend to have these download sessions when we get together where we empty our minds and hearts of everything we have been thinking, observing and pondering on since we last got together and then hurl it all at each other for critical review, dissection and analysis. It often (always) sounds to others like we are in the middle of an hours long, intense and emotionally involved argument, but this is how we do conversation. It is a war, not with each other, but with our own selves.

Ideas are postulated, questions asked and then thrown into the common ring of words between us. We riff on ideas and follow every rabbit trail back to its hidden warren, leaving no stone unturned. We attack, retreat, thrust and parry for as long as it takes to get it all out or at least leave us both mentally exhausted and then part ways. The fallout and aftermath of such engagements is where the real thinking happens as we examine what was said, thought about and deconstructed to the very last detail. There is no topic too sacred or taboo to be gone over and in these mental gymnastics we find our love for each other, for learning and education and the eternal questions that we are always posing to ourselves and the world at large.

In such quiet, long after the engagement I realized that my first question towards everything is "How?". After this concept of a fundamental life question came to me in self realization, I discovered, my Dad's question is "Why?.

And herein lies both our greatest strength and bond of a Father and  his Son as well as the elemental root of our perpetual and historical misunderstanding of each other.

It was a fantastic night well spent.


1 comment:

  1. My question used to be "Why?" but now I'm phasing out to "whatever." My why, is being changed to "It really can't be figured out why we do what we do, so I really don't care." It's not that I'm oblivious to cause and affect and it's not that I'm unconcerned with people and things I don't want a relationship with..b/c I can't change them..and b/c I am uncomfortable with their's b/c one of my base characteristics used to be judging and over my lifetime I've realized that I can't even change how can I expect anyone else to change...I can't! So it's "whatever." I am only concerned with insight when I've forgot where I'm going. Weather change in our area today. It was nice but it's changing. For me, at least, I've found that I can't continue to ask "why." It is too cumbersome, too heavy, to not ever know the answer to every paradigm shift that is hidden, stagnant, and evolving. And now that I'm not trying to focus on hidden I'm discovering "why."