In my humble opinion, curiousity didn’t kill the cat. Nope… I think it gave him a few of those nine lives! I think it completely rejuvenated that poor dying cat and gave him a reason to live!
I don’t remember who said it, but somebody at ALIA last month gave voice to one of my deepest beliefs. “Curiousity is one of your best assets.” Amen!
Maddie, my eight year old daughter, is one of my greatest teachers when it comes to curiousity. One of her favourite ways to start a sentence is “Can you imagine if…” That phrase is always followed by some outlandish thing she’s been imagining – like “Can you imagine if you had to eat nothing but grass for a year?” or “Can you imagine if you grew an extra head and both of your mouths always wanted to speak at the same time?”
She also likes to play “Would you rather…?” As in “Would you rather walk through a dark forest full of bears, or swim through an ocean full of sharks?” (Honestly – I can’t come up with ones that are quite as imaginative as hers.)
Where would we be in this world if nobody had entertained their curiousity about “What would happen if I stuck this hunk of meat in the fire instead of eating it raw?” Or “I wonder whether it might be possible to talk to someone far away from me if I used the right wires and sound pieces?” Or “If this piece of wood can float, maybe I could build something from wood that would be big enough to hold people and we could float across the river in it.” Or “What if I started writing a journal on the internet and shared it with whomever wanted to visit?”
I’m curious about a lot of things. Sometimes that curiousity is insatiable. It’s even got this tendency to take over my life on occasion. Sometimes I can barely sleep until I follow my curiousity to wherever it leads.
I want to know how people live in India or Africa, and so I travel there. While I’m there, I find myself dying to know about the stories people carry with them, and so I ask. I want to know how it feels to float down from the sky, and so I go skydiving. I want to know what it’s like to paint a picture, and so I take art classes. I want to know SO many things!
I’m planning to follow my curiousity until the day I find out the answer to “I wonder what it feels like to breathe my last breath.”
Summer seems like the perfect time to follow your curiousity. You’ve heard of “artist’s dates” (made popular by Julia Cameron). Well, today let me suggest an alternative (or companion – you decide). Take yourself on a “curiousity date”.
What are you curious about today? The art work you spotted on a random wall in a back alley you cycled down? The way it feels to sit in a bubbling stream with the water flowing over your shoulders? How long you can sit in meditative silence in the middle of a busy sidewalk? What it would feel like to leave random love notes taped to the bus stop window? How many people would hug you if you held up a “Free Hugs” sign in the subway station?
Tell me what you’re curious about in the comments and then… GO! Find out! Step away from your keyboard, grab your bus pass, your car keys, or (my personal preference) your bicycle, your camera, your journal, your “Free Hugs” sign – whatever you need – and follow your curiousity!
And then tell us about it, in case we’re curious about the same things.
As for me, I think I might just let an eight year old (or her older sisters, who still have wonderful moments of curiousity tucked in between the longer moments of acting like cool teenagers) direct me to whatever SHE’S curious about.