Waking up with a question of why is an exciting day. Questions themselves are born of an energetic part of the body, quickening the heart. Yet, they seem to come from nowhere. Alert, with a question, additional questions start to crowd in. How to begin to find the answer? What book to read? What is the meaning of having this question at this time in my life? Should I start thinking by making a cup of tea or should I head straight to the library? Should I call a friend and ask her and see what she thinks?
Overwhelmed, very few folks follow that question and instead, turn to a distraction. “Let’s get that cup of tea” and soon enough, the would-be philosopher is doing dishes in order to bolster another self-concept of the Good Housekeeper. Or she calls the friend with her burning question and soon forgets the question when pushing cell phone buttons and remembering a missed call to return to another person. The friend call is made, perhaps, but the reason behind the call has since gone into hiding.
My own questioning self led me to surprising places—foreign ones–to have adventures that I could not have expected. And yet, I turned back on myself and asked, “why do I still feel unsettled? How was it I went in search of answers to my life and STILL have questions? What is with all this question-asking anyway?” and so, I headed to graduate school.
“A-ha! Here I would find my answers!” I thought. I felt settled, finally, certain that I now possessed the key to the secret place where questions are born. I imagined them coming into the world with the smell of their answers clinging to them before being washed clean by the Religio-Cultural Industrial Complex that was making a tidy profit from all of this questioning. I was going to find out not only about the answers to all the questions but alas! The Origin of Questions! The room(s) where these procedures occurred, of course, would be hidden from us new graduate students. But perhaps, maybe by the end of the second year, I would be given the instruction in a seminar and told where to go, with a few others of us, to witness the miraculous birth.
But that seminar day did not come.
And so, five years after that much-unconsciously-anticipated day, I sit here with my questions in my home office. Some questions are sorted into piles with categories and others are half-formed on post-its. Some, in my neatest penmanship, are pinned to a cork board above my desk. Some questions are pressed, like leaves, into seminar binders filed by semester in the corner, stacked in boxes so as to be “available should I need them.” This blog begins to tell the story of The Day That Did Not Come and how we–me and these orphan questions–are working to make our home together.