Ask anyway

graffiti: blue dragonfly with yellow wings, saying, Ask for peaceThis is about asking and receiving.

This is about sitting with how that works sometimes.

One of my favorite Smiths songs is “Ask” (which you should listen to right now…), someone saying, hey, listen, it’s cute to be shy and coy, but sometimes you’ve gotta ask for what you want. It’s kind of an answer to, or a companion-on-the-other-side to Ain’t Too Proud To Beg (which, I know, The Temptations did first, but I always how TLC does it). These songs are about getting/giving yourself permission to claim your desire.

Which is all well and good, if you know what your desire is. But sometimes you don’t. Sometimes, someone asks you, “What do you want?” and you go blank. This isn’t just about sex, but it’s about sex, too.

Recently, as we’ve been in the middle of yet another move, Fresh! asked me, If we won the lottery and could go anywhere, where would you want to buy a house? I had no clear answer, and then, instead of stressing myself out about coming up with an answer, I let myself live with the question. For some weeks. I still don’t “know,” but possibilities are wool-gathering themselves within me.

We don’t have to have answers. We can have the questions.

Rilke says:

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

Not knowing the answers to questions can be terrifying for me. I don’t like to not know. It was an unsafe place to be, not knowing, not being certain.

Ask anyway. This is what I’m learning, over and over and over. Ask anyway.

(thank you thank you)

Thank you for the questions that have buoyed and carried you. Thank you for the ways you let them. Thank you for your words.

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