We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot – Little Gidding
I do love a good bit of poetry, like little families of words that manage to crystallise into a moment the myriad thoughts on a topic that go scurrying madly about my brain.
A very significant part of why I have such intense cravings to see and to learn about other people, foreign lands and cultures, long past times and the minds of others is that I long to learn more about myself. I’m aware of many different parts of myself, thoughts and morals, dreams and ideas, but my sense of self still remains very uncertain without the context of my existence. I need to know how I fit into this picture, and so it is the context that I go searching for. To read, listen, learn, see, feel and to step through all of these experiences to find what it is that is common to all of us, to some of us, and to find what is truly unique.
I can’t begin to count the number of times that through my youth I held a thought I believed to truly my own, only to find it put sublimely into words centuries ago by someone who’d lived across the world. While not as naive these days I still do love those common moments, at the same time humbling and comforting, knowing that my thoughts are not alone (and hopefully not simply madness). They challenge me and lead me onwards to the next great question of self, of knowledge, and of what I am to this world.