Questions as gathering device

I guard the unanswered questions like a hawk. It is not that these questions cannot in fact be answered. I do not know for sure; I am merely alluding to the fact that I surely could have - if i wanted to - dig deeper into my mind, the minds of others, the minds of our collective histories and human conditions and moved the needle”, so to speak. Yet I resist doing that.

I resist fiercely.

I guard these questions and their peripheries, because I know full well by now, and maybe you do too, what an orientation of problem solving, solutioning, let-us-break-this-down-but-first-let-us-address-the-assumptions type of thinking can do this precious space for inquiry. I hold open this space for conversations between my old self and my new selves. It’s a space I hold open to convene with others who hold that question too. To hold these questions and to keep them safe as one would, like two hands cupped gently around a little bird that has somehow found his way into the house; you’re holding your hands together around the lithe body of the bird that is now keeping very still, unblinking. Some questions need to be held, not answered. Your hands are still cupped. You make your way very slowly towards the open window, even-breathed. You are not in a hurry. There are questions you should not wrangle — it would be a terrible mistake to do so. A costly one.

I say some questions should be held, held to the point that all the right people have gathered. Turned over round and round, examined in silence with all our different eyes. Perhaps we circle it, first from a distance. Circumambulating. Round and round. Coming closer. Round and round. Closer. Circling. Closer. Until we find ourselves front to back and back to front and so close we can feel the warmth of other bodies. Shoulder to shoulder to shoulder. Perhaps this is the point of the question that is held and not asked. In turn, the question holds us.

July 10, 2022