Guesswork

Dear Reader,

Here I am. My box was outside, now it’s not, and I’m not sure when the transition happened. It’s a strange place, what I’ve chosen to call the Library, but not an unpleasant one. I can come in from the cold, read what I want, and there’s even the means to write when the urge takes me.

You may be thinking that I’m going to start talking about how the Library is ever-shifting, or how it contains the universe. Perhaps I’m supposed to go straight into metaphor. But the thing is, I wouldn’t really know. Even once I’ve explored the whole thing, how could I actually know that I’ve explored the whole thing? The parts where I’m not at any given moment could contain the deepest secrets of life, but I’m not there. I could put up cameras if I had the resources, but that just shifts where the questions focus, not their nature.

Despite this, we assume that something we haven’t seen before is impossible. We recognize the universe’s size on some level, but protect ourselves by demanding it follow expected patterns. Even though we’re wrong (or at least incomplete) every single time, we still haven’t seen the pattern. Don’t misunderstand: we have to do the best we can with what we have, and pattern-matching is so ingrained into us that I don’t think it’s possible to avoid it even if that were a good idea. The next time will or will not be different based on whether we want it to be as much as anything.

So this new space, just like every other, will do what it does regardless of the structures I may try to force upon it. We shouldn’t be surprised that our electronics, perhaps the closest thing we’ve come to duplicating ourselves, are digital; deep down we can’t really think otherwise. We have to have a sieve, but have no idea what we’re filtering out (or what gets in by accident). I’m sure you’ve heard the cliché: “right or wrong, just make a decision!” Amazing ignorance–not making a decision is as much a decision as making one.

New places are always a source of self-doubt for me. I find the possibilities to be frightening, not because I expect bad things to happen, but because I expect myself not to live up to them. Nonetheless, I cannot stop looking, which is how I ended up here. I don’t know why I can’t stop, nor do I know what a successful search would actually look like. I can’t truly put myself into someone else’s shoes, so can never really know if anyone needs to hear what I have to say. But I cannot stop trying! Any more than I could force myself not to breathe.

It’s easy to say that I should just keep doing it, but my drive is inconsistent. I don’t know if more feedback or less is ultimately what I need, or why the novelty of a new place wears off as quickly as it does. Maybe I’m supposed to be nomadic, but it would be nice to find a niche eventually–living things don’t do particularly well without one.

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