Monday, December 20, 2010

studying overmuch

Some hallmarks of the wise one are books--and yet, if not literate, the gift of speech with strangers and animals. One can readily imagine an old man, long of beard and grey, with a lifetime's knowledge in that grizzled head, hunched over a book by candlelight, worn fingers slowly turning the fragile pages as he sips at a mug of hot tea, wisdom and words from days long past ready to be deciphered and renewed in thought.

Knowing. A combination of experience and intuition and slow, deliberate reasoning which can shed light on even a strange problem or idea, where it may have come from and how it came to be and what to do for any desired outcome.
Yet wisdom is not only for the old, for books on dusty shelves. There is the knowing that comes with doing, when your muscle memory takes over and your body uses its own wisdom to act when thought itself is too slow. There is that subtle communication that arises from seeing one's head turn just so (for were this not so, dance would have very little meaning indeed), or a creature move slowly or quickly, that little hitch in liquid birdsong that means danger approaches, flee! woods-wisdom, wild-knowing, that knowing without knowing. This too is wisdom.

Just as hours of deliberate thought and debate mark a man as learned, so an animal or man that can feel the change in weather knows what is to come, and survives.

Instinct is its own subtle voice.

No comments:

Post a Comment