Philosophy is not for those who presume to know all there is to know. Nor is it for those who, being bourgeois, take life to be wholly self-explanatory. ‘The commonplace mind,’ writes Josef Pieper in ‘The Philosophical Act,’ ‘rendered deaf-mute, finds everything self-explanatory’ to the point at which ‘”wonder” is no longer there.’ Now that must be a great loss unknown to the self-professedly knowledgeable, such a magnificent and terrible loss to the one blanketing all reality in the endless commonplace. What unmarked, unremarked upon despondency!
There is only wonder, so we shall learn, once one is brought to doubt whether he knows something at all. But then how is someone brought to such a doubt, and what disposition brings one to wonder’s doorstep?
I said, I am looking at a photograph. In the photo, there are green meadows and there is the silhouette of a tree draped across the summer grass. In my fingers which are stained with chalk, I am holding a clementine. I hold it up roundly, delicately, offering it to you. We are not looking at the same full moon together, I said. We are looking at the same world, orange and whole. I did not say aloud until later that evening: a world as beautiful as the beautiful world can be.
When we carried it uphill, the rain hurt our backs.
When we let it run downhill, the rain brought us back.
When we ran with it seaward, the rain fell on our backs.
When we danced with it skyward, the rain sung to us back.
When we hummed to it softly, the rain hummed to us back.
She says there are sun spots, places where the sun warms your entire being. She may stop in a sun spot, stand there and breathe. And then the breeze comes and washes the warmth once, relieves. And then you stand and contemplate the warmth beneath your shirt before it returns to your body and seeks out the clouds and skeins.