I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

I absolutely welcome comments. It's nice to know how people relate to what I'm saying.
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Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Telepathic Teddy Bear - My Body's a Question

No, there's no answer. That's the point. I thought my body was a riddle, or an enigma, or at least very very confused. But then I heard this song, and my perception changed. It's a question, without an answer, and that makes it ok to stop looking for the answer that does not exist.

I ran across this song several months ago. My cousins were promoting their friend's new album - Reflections, by Telepathic Teddy Bear.  I listened, and listened, and listened, and for months now, this song keeps popping into my head. The whole album is great, but this one, well...


I somehow don't think the composer ever intended it to be interpreted as I do, but that is the beauty of art. The artist puts something forth, and meaning is created somewhere in between the output and the reception in the back and forth between artist and audience. I don't know much about the composer, except that he is originally from Mexico, and I can assume safely that he is in his early 30's. I have no idea what challenges he has faced in his life that have brought him to the point of writing poignant music, but it doesn't matter so much, because art transcends personal experience and becomes something that speaks to the shared human experience. This song does speak to me, and it speaks of my own struggles to let go of my deep desire for control and ultimately, answers.

This song soothes me. Plain and simple. I like that somebody said these words, and put them to music. I find comfort in this song. It's not easy living in questions - yet this is a recurring theme for me. Living inside questions was a big theme throughout my Masters program - asking instead of answering, rooting out assumptions and examining them for veracity. What are the questions that are important to you? How do they impact your life, your research, your work, your family, your home, your sense of self?  It was also a huge theme for the years that I studied Shamanism. Every answer brings forth more questions, and the clearer the question, the greater the chance of receiving an answer, but only if you can find the stillness within yourself to hear it, and if you are at a point in your life where you are ready for that knowledge to take root - you cannot seek an answer, it will find you when you are ready for it. Questions are also a very important tenet of Jewish Philosophy - the question is more important than the answer - any Rabbi worth his salt will give you at least two perfectly good answers (often contradictory) to any given question. Being a Montessori teacher is also all about erasing our per-conceived ideas and starting with fresh questions, in the vein of the scientific method - what can this child do today? Why are they running? How can I help them? Are they ready? Should we try?

To me, living in the questions means frequent asking, and being ok with not getting an answer to the biggest questions, or at least not one that satisfies the desire for control or to get our way. It also means understanding, deep deep down, that the only way to even possibly get an answer is to first find the right question. And with all that practice, you'd think I'd be used to the questioning lifestyle. And I am. To the point that I think it annoys some people close to me. But the questions I'm used to, the easy ones, are rarely about me, or my body, or my abilities, and they are (surprise surprise) intellectual or philosophical in nature. Now it's my body itself that is the question. "Am I ok?" is the question that is most often asked, by myself and by those who love me, and it is so very rarely answered honestly.

Richard Bach writes in Illusions: “The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in a while and watch your answers change.” I agree with him. And I think "Am I ok?" and "How are you?" fit right in there.

It is not comfortable for us to live as humans in Western Society without answers. We like answers. We like being right. We like knowing things, and the control that seems to bring us. But what do we really know? What can we really control? The fact is that I have followed Bach's advice, and the advice of my many mentors, and I do ask myself these questions often. And the answers have changed radically over the years. And yes, it's true, sometimes there are no answers.

I am learning to live, as you know, in uncertainty, in flux and without plans, programs and records. I am learning to measure my abilities moment by moment, and to react to those with integrity and honesty - which is much harder to do than it sounds. It's not always easy. I am changing patterns of thought and behaviour that have been engrained for a very long time.

When I start to get uncomfortable living in this body of mine that defies the control of the medical community, and refuses to provide any answers, I find comfort in the fact that someone else felt this, too, and for his own reasons, that have nothing to do with my state of extreme healing. When anxiety about the lack of information and answers starts to bubble up, I find comfort in his words: "there is no answer." The fact that someone else said it makes it ok.


  1. Well said. Reading this reminded me of that book "Radical Acceptance" - to be OK with the now, what ever it is, even if in the now you don't know or have an answer. It's OK. I think the main souce of my struggle with anxiety is the pressure to have/find and answer and feeling like a failure if I can't. So I'm trying to be Ok with the now - and in this now I want some ice cream and I do have an answer, I'm going to have some! ;)

    1. I keep trying to go with "I'm not ok and that's ok." But it's not always ok, and I guess that has to be ok too! I like your answer. Ice Cream has to be the second best answer to everything. The first is chocolate, but that really should go without saying! xo