“It's actually quite a good ethos for life: go into the unknown with truth, commitment, and openness and mostly you'll be okay.” —Alan Cumming
In The Trees
Last week, as I walked down the street, I heard a siren-like voice piping from above me. A neighborhood kid was perched in a nearby tree, singing “Into the Unknown”, a song from Frozen 2. It’s a song about seeking adventure, about daring to live with wild uncertainty. It sure sounds exciting.
When I graduated from college, I got a job at a bilingual school in Guatemala City. This was the mid-nineties, and the country had been in a civil war for decades. I remember a phone call with a close friend, who asked, “what’s it like for you?” I told her that the strangest thing about living in a foreign country where I had no friends and barely spoke the language was how ordinary it seemed. My life was made up of everyday moments that seemed both familiar and strange, like one of those dreams about being at school or the office. It looks less like dancing around a forest shooting ice-lasers from your fingertips and more like one regular day after another. It was only before and after this time in my life that I was aware that I was entering/had lived through “the unknown”.
Here We Go
There is no point in resisting the unknown; we are headed into it, no matter what.
We are all living in and heading deeper into the unknown now. Of course, we are always heading into the unknown. We have all begun many “ordinary” days that have unfolded into life-changing moments. There is no point in resisting the unknown; we are headed into it, no matter what. As artists, we are particularly skilled at making things up as we go along and measuring progress a word at a time as we take step after step of the adventure we are already living. This is the power of story—the power to create meaning from these experiences. Adventures are never easy, and they’re rarely exciting. But here we go—into the unknown, as we always do.