He went to Paris
Looking for answers
To questions that bothered him so
— Jimmy Buffett, He Went to Paris
“As we grow old, the beauty steals inward.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
And now I will tell you the truth.
Everything in the world
At least, closer.
— Mary Oliver, Where Does the Temple Begin, Where Does It End?
It struck me reading a book on Existentialism that it’s almost impossible to arrive at enlightenment and sagacity when life becomes relentlessly hectic. Try absorbing deep thoughts from another era when you’re exhausted and grabbing a few pages in between commitments and sleep. We’re all so damned busy that we don’t take the time to understand the universe, let alone ourselves. The maze might have a beginning and an end, but we get so caught up finding the cheese that we forget to figure out where we are.
Busy never answers, busy avoids answers.
As we stack experiences one atop the other, do we take the time to sort them into insight? We spend so much time focused on becoming and belonging that we short the time required to being. The quest for answers never really ends, but we can edge closer to that which resonates for us. It seems the benefit of aging is capturing the time that eluded us when we were younger to sit with deep thoughts, reflect on the universe and find ourself.
The real question is, why do we wait so long to sift through the answers?