It’s a boon to have fingertip access to all knowledge. I can quote from the Critique of Pure Reason hands down. But many times another person pivots continually to smart phone in order to referee a fact fight during just a conversation.

I’m increasingly happy to luxuriate in ignorance. A really fine strand of thought isn’t necessarily advanced by going granular on specifics.

“In Praise of Dreams” by Jan Garbarek, the Norwegian saxophonist, features a piece called “Cloud of Unknowing.”

The phrase “cloud of unknowing” has a bracing resonance. Unknowing isn’t the same as ignorance. A cloud of it contrasts with, say, a “cloud of indifference.”

Perhaps the two clouds pit fecund uncertainty against incurious certitude. Perhaps one is conciliating, the other pugilistic. Perhaps one fosters circumspection, the other opprobrium.

Perhaps I Googled “origin of universe” and the search god returned “not found” from the stomping grounds of unknowing. But perhaps it returned an Okefenokee of conviction from where doubt goes to die.

[Copyright (c) 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.]

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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