‘The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing”
“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves, in finding themselves”
Andre Gide







There was a moment when I was in that fabulous museum, Le Quai Branly, when I didn’t know where I was, where I had been and where I was going. And then there was a fabulous exhibition called “Persona” which challenges our perception of what it is to be human, to be alive. In that space, confronted, repulsed and hypnotically attracted all at the same time by the concept of “La Vallée de L’étrange” I wondered who I was.

It was a thrilling, empowering and exciting experience! I felt like l was losing self definitions of the past.
Not knowing can be a great and wonderful thing whereas thinking that you know something- because really you don’t-can lead to calcification and  stifling growth

I’ve had plenty of practice realising how little I do know since coming to France. Many years ago I spent four years at University learning French and foolishly thought I could just pick it up again, impressing French speakers with my knowledge. Ha! I have only just become aware of how little I know of “La Belle Langue”. However I think French people appreciate my attempts at communication. And then I am fortunate enough to have found a friend who gives me regular feedback on my expression so that I am (slowly) improving…well hopefully!
It can be a very human thing to reach for the comfort of knowledge and avoid the state of unknowing-otherwise known as learning. To learn is to admit that you don’t know something, almost a cardinal sin in our society where perfectionism is rife. Its also necessary to experience an awkwardness and sometimes embarrassment when you let go of your bearings and enter new territory -like looking left when I need to look right when crossing the road or is it the other way around?  but the rewards are great. There’s a wonderful sense of coming alive, of discovering not only a new culture but undiscovered territory within yourself.

3 thoughts on “Knowing

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