I love learning. It is the passion of my life, it serves as a purpose for my existence, and I have troubled myself in many, many ways in the pursuit of it. All my life I have searched for a way for all of it to make sense; something that draws it together, brings coherence to this living of ours.
I am still searching.
Earlier today, I put up an excerpt from David Foster Wallace’s 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon College and in it he talks of how the worship of intellect will leave you hollowed out and empty. I want to make a distinction between love of and worship–
Knowledge is simply a thing. It is not something to be revered, to be held above all else, to be put on a pedestal atop all other things and most especially not above people.
And yet, I love it all the same. I love that expression that a child gets when a new idea has slid right into place: it is a face of wonder! The jaw goes slack, the eyes brighten, and “ah ha”, yes! that is it. When I learn something new, when a thought slides into the grand puzzle I’ve been constructing all the days I can remember, I know that is exactly what I look like. I am taken back to childhood, to that time of magic and inifinity, that time when all things were possible, all things were fathomable.
I feel alive.
And that’s why I keep searching. That is why I keep reading, keep writing, and keep pushing, pushing myself to things which may be uncomfortable and yet are necessary to lift the veil further. I love learning; I love the search; and I will lift up every rock, overturn every barrel, dive into murky depths and swim past sharks and snapping turtles and indignant octopuses, climb treacherous cliffs, and lay flat in open plains during a blizzard if that is what it takes to learn one new fact, to understand one other concept, to get that next puzzle piece–
Because that is what I am here for: “To seek, to find, and not to yield.”