Step into the Unknown

by | Mar 17, 2023 | Mysterious Musings

colourful image of a humanoid shape walking up a glowing, cosmic staricase, with a blue portal in front of them, and circular swirls of red, blue, turqoise and yellow little sparks all around

What is life, but a step into the unknown? And keeping on taking that step, day after day. What is life, but a story we tell ourselves? A story that changes shape depending on our perspective. What is life, but an ongoing process of transformation, unfolding in mysterious and unknowable ways?

The Uselessness of Writing

I have many questions. Yet, the more I ask, the vaster and stranger the questions seem to become. I might find an answer, only to realize how very incomplete that one answer is. For a while this kept me from writing. What use was it to do so, since it simply resulted in more confusion? Another reason that I refrained from writing was that I read a book called Tao te Ching, which made me question the value of an approach to life where I was constantly analyzing and compartmentalizing my existence. I realized that I spent a lot of time constructing a narrative about my life, instead of just experiencing it. Here are a few lines from Tao te Ching that stuck with me:

 

The softest things on Earth
Overcome the hardest
The insubstantial can penetrate even where there are no openings
This is how I understand the benefits of Not-Doing
Teaching without words
And the benefits of Not-Doing
Are things achieved by very few.

 

After reading this, I spent some time contemplating these concepts. For a while I felt like writing or creating art was simply an act of reducing the wholeness of existence into smaller shape, so I took long walks in the forest instead. Instead of drawing or writing I took photographs of the scenes or details that I saw on my walks and posted them, but without any kind of text to accompany them. I wanted to be a witness to that natural miracle unfolding right before my eyes. No words were necessary. And words couldn’t compete with the beauty that just was. No work of art that I made could ever match the beauty that already existed in the world around me.

red roses lit up by the lamps of a rose garden at night, the red and green contrasted by the blackness of the night
floor lit up by blue and yellow lights coming from a stage, shining on between the silhouettes of legs of people waching the stage
magnificent old oak with green leaves, with sunshine shining through the branches, creating a glow effect

Yet, overtime, I felt something starting to gnaw inside of me. it was like a soft voice, clearing its throat, trying to give me a crucial bit of information, but in a very gentle manner. I suddenly realized that the thing that had ignited such a profound shift in my perspective and in the way I carried out my life, was exactly the same thing that had caused me to question its entire value: the written word.

For such a fascinatingly paradoxical result to be possible, I thought, there must be something truly powerful going on. Something magical. And I was curious to learn more. I wanted to be a part of that magic. I started to write again.

The Magic of Writing

A book is a magnificent piece of technology. Or a magnificent magical object. The words that fill its pages have the potential to transform lives. And I have felt my own life transformed many times over by countless books, by countless writers. Poetry. Fiction. Teen novels. Research dissertations. Fairy Tales. Books on Quantum Mechanics. Mythology. Science Fiction. Fantasy. Self-help books. Comics. I started out my life with a focus on visual art, but my first love was always stories. Not that those have to be opposite in any way. There are so many amazing stories told through visual form. Or auditive for that matter. But there is a mysterious quality to writing that I am eternally fascinated by. How reality can twist around and change right before our eyes depending on the way we choose to describe it.

This is an excerpt of a post published on Minnamari’s newsletter/ publication Mysterious Musings on the Substack-platform. If you want to read the post in its entirety, visit Mysterious Musings on Substack.