Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Perfect Quote

I have been looking for a quote.

A perfect sequence of words, something that captures my current state of being.

Many years ago, I came across a cup of knowledge.  I was fascinated by this acquisition and set out in search of more.  I found streams and rivers of learning that flowed from the mountains and ponds surrounding me.  I was content with this and rested.

After some time, I wanted more and set off again.  I found larger rivers and great lakes filled with philosophy, history, science, and mathematics(which I quickly ignored).  I thought that I had mastered these rivers and lakes with my sense of exploration as paddle and an inflated ego for my raft.

Leaving behind the comfortable confines of my home, I traveled again thinking of new conquests and discoveries to add to my dominion, and I found the ocean-- the seemingly boundless world of the universe.  I am lost among that which I do not know.  As I learn something new, I am confronted with the greatness the unknown.  Certainly the newly learned lesson is a valuable asset, but it also unveils new realms of my own ignorance.  This great divides excites me; there is always a chance to learn and grow.  The great ocean of knowledge also discourages me; no matter how much I come to understand, it is nothing compared to all that is left to learn.

I stopped looking for a quote.

A song by James Taylor or a poem by Rumi may capture the realization of my nothingness, but its meaning is so finite that it cannot go further with me.  Maybe a line from Shakespeare or an excerpt from Kierkegaard can relate all that I experienced in the past, but it will not cover what I have yet to discover about myself and the world I live in.   I was confronted by the irony of my quest: using another's words to describe my path negates my own journey.  Perhaps instead of looking for someone else to describe my journey, I ought to be grateful for this realization of my insignificance and keep a happy heart while I continue this wonderful expedition.

My conclusion is that there isn't a perfect quote to capture life, but that it the beauty of existence.  If we found perfection, we would stop our progression, and I don't want to stop this adventure.