Not Knowing


This is my mantra these days. There are so many things up in the air with my life right now. And being mindful in saying, "I don't know" is somehow comforting. I wrote this sentiment to myself 2 summer's ago when I was in Taos for Sas's workshop. The assignment was to alter a post card and send it to ourselves. I had been flayling in my personal life, feeling adrift. I've always known what I wanted. I had been goal oriented; an achiever. Well, kids put a brake on that pretty well. Suddenly my life wasn't about just what I wanted anymore or what my goals were. My life became about something much bigger and at the same time something much smaller. In the last few years there has been a deepening of questioning. Something about turning 50. So while I was in Taos I was searching for some answers; some direction. One afternoon while at the Rancho de Taos Church viewing the amazing and mysterious "Vision of Jesus Christ" painting, this saying on a poster taped to the parish door caught my attention – "Teach Thy Tongue To Say I Do Not Know and Thou Shall Progress." And there ya go. Loud and clear. 


So I've been practicing saying this ever since the day it came to me. And it's been quite a revelation. For someone who always thought she had all the answers and everything figured out, it's revelatory. What I've discovered is that instead of leading to more indecision and anxiety, saying "I don't know" leads to a kind of quiet calm. Weird, huh? A kind of letting go. Things reveal themselves in time. Decisions are made. Things work out. It's remarkable. Two years later, this is still my mantra. I don't know if we'll get the house we have our eye on. I don't know if I'll ever (or how) I'll repair the relationship with my brother. But I know that things usually work out. All in their own good time; not in the time table I want to lay on them. 


We did get a tiny bit of precious snow last week. Enough to dampen the lawn and the garden, but not enough to really water the trees. But I was grateful watching the elements work their magic on the Disintegration Project. All in their good time.

I know I've been off line for a few days. My daughter turned 16 last week and is now driving – saints preserve us – this somehow has taken up a lot of my psychic energy and mental capacity – and I've been a bit under the weather with a stomach bug. But I'm back now. Pondering the universe and hopefully grabbing a few moments to work in a new journal.

9 Responses to Not Knowing

  1. stephanie says:

    Good wisdom here…by saying ‘I don’t know’ you give yourself room to explore. Happy to hear you are feeling better, I believe everything you want will come to you.

    AND hang in there with the driving thing, I can’t say it gets easier 🙂

    love the collage of cherry blossoms/birds…lovely

  2. neva coloma says:

    such a moment. i clicked on your site from my blog, intriqued with the “not knowing” posted, and … that familiar image was right before my eyes, postcard 07…

    i hear your voice in your writing, and understand that “i don’t know”. one thing we know for sure is that we don’t know.

    namaste, neva

  3. Chris says:

    Congrats to your daughter, and to you.
    What a collage!

  4. Jill Holmes says:

    Fran, I love this post! Thank you for reminding us that it is OK not to have all the answers and still know that things will work out for the best. Hope you and yours are doing well.

  5. Gwen says:

    Wow, I needed those words of wisdom. I love your collage, also. I am curious about the holes in the postcard and the collage, though…

    I am the oldest im my family, and have a tendency to be a bit of a know-it-all, so important to remember that FREQUENTLY I really don’t know!

  6. Kim says:

    Fran, I loved your post! I have become “free” by letting go of trying to figure things out. Because life has a mind of its own, you never know where it will lead you next. Just enjoy the ride! Can you tell me where you get the pictures of the beautiful henna hands? I see them in lots of art journals and I just love them. They look great on the black background.

  7. Jill Holmes says:

    Fran, I got the tape at the Akamai (sp?) art store in Port Townsend. They take orders and they ship, too, I think. The colors are pretty cool and I am going to inquire as to whether they have other colors they can order, too. It was all between $7-9/roll, I think. Jill

  8. SIGRID says:

    This is an wonderful, creativ blog and I love it.
    Greetings from Germany.

  9. Seth says:

    Wonderful mantra Fran…and amazing artwork as always!

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