Our last post featured a long profound quote from nature writer Ann Zwinger, which concluded:
“Desert is where I want to be when there are no more questions to ask.”
To which, being a questioning sort of person, I took exception. After all, if all other questions fail, there remain at least three, the ones posed by the ancient rabbi Hillel. They can only be answered by the one who asks, and he or she may answer them differently at every stage of their life:
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
When I am for myself alone, what am I?
If not now, when?
We are here in the desert right now, in a great silence, and within it — the questions resonate.
My favorite question has long (maybe always) been, “What will this day hold?”
Curiosity pulls me out of bed, and I am old enough to realize that whatever I’ve planned may go awry and what I haven’t planned for may materialize. There is always something to see with new eyes, something to think about in a new way. I’m with you – how could there ever be no more questions to ask?
(There’s always “Why?” and “Now what?”)
You remind me of a saying from the Talmud: A person should choose to live, if only out of curiosity.
That is what keeps me going … what makes me jump out of bed in the morning.
I would like to answer Hillel’s third question with ‘Never’.
If not now, when? Hillel? I always give Frank credit for that phrase! We quote him all the time.
Oh, he will be SO pleased, Marilyn! Am going to tell him right now 🙂
Good questions, worth pondering.
I must admit that on first glance, I read the Zwinger quote as: “Dessert is what I want when there are no more questions to ask”.
… probably tells you need to know about my subconscious, and my sweet tooth…!
Oh, Chris, that is so funny! I do the “misreading” bit myself, and it can definitely be revealing.