It’s fear of the unknown that has brought me here tonight. Because the sky’s gotten too bright and the ocean too deep, and I’m left spinning, too aware of my smallness. Because I’m remembering my high school science class, that I am one of six billion and we are one of trillions of celestial orbs in the universe. And that just leaves me too small tonight, to be anything but afraid. And so I am here.
I don’t know what else is out there, and my pen is out of ink from trying to write down the definite. I don’t know what happens when these eyes stop opening and this heart stops beating, and I don’t know how to know for sure. We call it, here, alive and dead, but I don’t know if that’s right or if we’ve muddled that up- if the dead are dead truly, or more alive than we. I come here tonight because I don’t know.
Because I don’t know how this body is working. I don’t know how I breathe and I don’t know how the air is composed of the medicine that these lungs need. I don’t know what’s making my fingers type and my legs move, my tastebuds distinguish sweet from spice. I don’t know where the thoughts in my head are shelved and how it is we pull them out. And I’m left in fear and awe of this thing called living until I am terrified to take a breath and continue to participate.
One by one, I take my unknowns and my questions and try to add them up. But they are just a waist high pile compared to all I don’t know to un-know. The thought that there is so much I don’t know I don’t know makes my heart race and my head spin, and I want to burn them because they make me small, and perhaps insignificant. And so, with hands open and shaking in fear and frustration, I come here.