I have not found that wisdom comes as a large and musical gift from the universe. Knowledge is in fact rarely revelatory. I find that wisdom, such as we might find it, is more like learning how to stock your kitchen cabinets. How many light bulbs of what wattage to have as backup? What size cans of diced tomatoes? Is frozen chicken stock useful? All the little practical details, garnered just by waking up every day and going to sleep at night.
Wisdom of self in is many ways the most difficult to attain. It is hard to unlearn, or manage, one’s emotional makeup. I have not found the perfect key in 54 years of living. But with luck I think we can come to understand ourselves enough. Enough.
Sometimes I see my particular anxieties as goblins, goblins of need and worry making their living underground. The pictures here are from one of my favorite childhood books, The Princess and the Goblins. A wonderful book, full of caverns, and magic, and commitment. While I do not see myself as a princess, I have goblins mining in my self. For better or for worse. I would love to turn on some kind of very big and powerful hose and direct it down through their tunnels, to see their large-nosed selves washed up onto the plains and down the river. But I find the best hope is simply to discover what they need and make my peace with them. I forgive myself for harboring these goblins. We make a deal. I stock my cabinets with their favorite cereals. Come on up little goblins, have some Cheerios.
I could speak strictly to myself, knowing that I should, and perhaps could, achieve so much more. I could try to banish anxiety. Or I can accommodate the little goblins. Accommodate them with a rueful shrug. After all, as long as I can see their little goblin faces and count their little goblin shovels, they harm no one but me. Maybe not even me, if I tell them a joke now and then.