i know nothing {wisdom for a life of beautiful uncertainty}

I know nothing.

She is sitting in a park when I speak these words for the first time.  I picture her there.  Worn blanket hastily pulled from the trunk and hastily thrown on cool fall grass.  Leaves overhead beginning to spiral their way into the approaching dormancy of winter.  Reverberation of slamming doors ringing in her soul.  Crisp autumn air on tearstained cheeks.   I give her the wisdom I need the most.

I know nothing.

Whisper those words with soft lips, hollow throat.  Breathe them in and breathe them out.  Let them echo in you for a while, love.  Grant them sovereignty to swirl and swoop and root down deep.   Feel the tingle of truth they raise on lips and fingertips and skin. Let them become, inside and outside and all around you.

I know nothing.

This is the lesson of my fourth decade.  The absolute lack of certainty. The unlearning of truths.  The releasing of dogma.  The submission to the wisdom of emptiness.   The surrender at the beginning of unknowing, and the grace that finds me at the end.

I know nothing.

Can you feel the freedom of that?  The lack of projection.  The release from worry and supposition and what if?  Knowing nothing gives space for letting go.  Room for continuous rearrangement.  Reconstruction. Renewal.

I know nothing.

Five years ago:  I sit in a room.  It is a retreat of wisdom and laughter and silent meditation lead by a woman who is both teacher and student.  I am barely able to contain the pieces of in-progress-destruction that are my heart and soul and life.  Our guide tell us to lift our hands in front of us.  Wiggle our fingers in the air.  “All that you can touch is all that is real” she says.  And she laughs a laugh that tastes like freedom.  I remember this now and feels it mingling with my unknowing, alchemizing along the way into something that feels like the deepest sort of knowing.

I know nothing.

These three words.  They become mantra and survival.   They become graciousness and surrender. When I wonder and worry and stress.  I know nothing. When I crash headlong into the rhetoric of my own stubborn dogma.  I know nothing.  When I don’t understand.  When I can’t explain.  When I’m about to collapse from the weight of my own expectations.  When gearing up to high speed crash into the paradox of love and loss.  I know nothing.


If you breathe it deep enough, there is room for the unknowing become a singular, spacious everything.  The unknowing cracks open your heart.  It strips you of the confines of certainty.  It brings you to a fierce embrace of all that can never be known.  It leaves room for the wild soul within, the one who doesn’t concern herself with knowing, because she’s too damn busy with feeling and doing and revolutionary being.

I know nothing.  Neither do you. 

Lover, be brave enough to follow your unknowing as it spirals continuously inward and outward from the edges to the center of your existence and back again.     What you will find  – at the root of all that you do not, cannot and will not ever know – is the core of all that is.

Right here.  Right now.  Forever.


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I swear like a sailor, I've been called a word-witch (more than once), I believe whole-heartedly in the power of your voice,  and think words are as necessary as air. I also create courses and programs that will get you writing (for reals). 

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