Archive for December 14th, 2022

First Peek

GC Myers- First Peek smFirst Peek— At Principle Gallery, Alexandria


Sixty years ago I knew everything. Now I know nothing. Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

Will Durant, The Age of Voltaire

I don’t know that I thought I knew everything in my youth but I certainly thought I knew more than I actually did. Not knowing our own ignorance might be the basis of the reckless bravery that often accompanies youth.

When younger, it’s kind of like getting up early in the morning and setting out in the darkness before the sun rises. You are eager to prove yourself, make your mark, so you proceed with all the energy and speed that youth provides. You move along with certainty and purpose but you’re still in the dark. You haven’t been here before, don’t know the terrain and can’t see everything around you. You might stumble off the path or make a wrong turn in the darkness. You might even walk off a cliff or be bushwacked (don’t get to use that term much!) by those who take advantage of your fumbling in the dark. You might even stumble upon a river with no way to cross it in the darkness.

You take your lumps. But gradually, if you persist long enough, the first peeks of light show through. As the sun rises in this little scenario, its light tells the tale of how little we actually knew. You now can see where you made your mistakes and how different things are than you believed them to be when you first set out. You can now see that the path has potholes and detours and the hill you thought you would race up is much steeper and treacherous than you knew. You need the light and the knowledge of how to get up it.

Don’t get me wrong here. I miss the energy and confident self-belief of those early stumbling days. They were important and transformative times. Those mistakes made in that darkness became important lessons once the light of knowledge was cast upon them. Necessary lessons that might not have been learned without having the nerve to forge forward early on.

When I come across someone younger with that know-it-all, beat-the-world confidence, I smile a little knowing that they are still operating in that predawn darkness, that sunlight hasn’t revealed their missteps and miscalculations yet. Hopefully, they will absorb the lessons that will come and adjust their course.

Some do, some don’t.

And some don’t even try. And that’s a pity because those folks never really gain the full sunlight available to them.

That’s the story for today, kids. The first light is filtering through trees and it seems to be a red sky. Must be the anticipated snowstorm is getting closer. Time for me to move on. Here’s a song to go along with this bit of stuff. It’s When I Was Young from Eric Burdon and the Animals. Good stuff…

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