Today I had difficulty coming up with something to write about. It’s not that there wasn’t anything worth writing on. There are probably about five different topics bouncing about in my head right now — but none of them well-researched enough. Nothing I can write about definitively, authoritatively, properly. I had to know more, no, I needed to know more, see, because — no, none of that, that would be lying to myself. I just wanted to know more.
I am curious.
I am curious, and I see such value in the ability to be curious. To be curious is to want to know more, to explore, to discover each and every corner and crevice the world has to offer and to see what stands to be uncovered. To be curious is to face the world with the wild abandon of a young child, to want to to take apart and disassemble everything in order to stare at it in awe and to understand it. Being curious is something I like being, and it is valuable to me.
As I grow older, I watch as the people around me become less and less curious. They stop asking questions, stop exploring. It’s fine. I understand. As we age, we get to understand the world around us more and more. Things start to make sense to us, and neat little patterns begin to form out of the uncertainty. We stick to those patterns because they’re neat and because the world outside of them is dangerous and scary. We’ve navigated our little corner of the map, and we’re content to stay within it.
But what lies out there in the wilderness? Are there dragons?
I think all kinds of people are great, but I have a special soft spot for scientists. They’re intrepid, I think. Explorers. They’re the ones foraging out into the wilderness in search of answers, and questions to fit those answers, hunting through the ephemeral fog that surrounds the world we already understand. Writers, too, and artists, and creators, diving into the depths of the mind, grasping at the human soul as they attempt to find the Secret, the Key, the Thing That Makes Us Tick. I love all people, but I look up to the curious and those that explore, and I want to be more like them.
Curiosity. Curiosity, curiosity. What could ever make someone so curious?
Have you ever stared up at the Milky Way on a clear summer night?
Have you ever looked at a leaf and wondered at how green it is? Have you ever looked at a tree and wondered at how big it is? Have you ever looked at a clock, watched the second hand tick in to the minute hand tick into the hour hand and wondered, why do you do that, Clock? How do you tick? Why do you tick? How do you know when to tick? Why does anything even tick at all? Have you ever met someone so deeply, profoundly interesting that you wanted to know more about them, no matter how little they say, how softly they breathe, how quiet they may be curled up in the passenger seat?
I think curiosity is among the biggest compliments we can pay to the world. We steel ourselves, brace ourselves for what we may find, prepare ourselves for all manner of resistance with the possibility that we may find nothing, learn nothing, discover nothing — all because we think the world is great. All because we think all things are interesting. All because we want to know. It would be a great disservice to the sky, to the sea, to the birds and the trees, to time and space and to that girl sat in the front seat of my car — the biggest of disservices to all of them if I couldn’t look at them with the loving affection and desperate desire of a man who is curious, a man who wants to know more, a man who thinks all these things are profoundly beautiful, full of stories worth discovering, and who wants to discover them for no better reason than that he wants to.
And so, I am curious.