What if every doubt, every question, every apprehension that wonders at the premise: “what if I can’t?”, simultaneously opens us up to the possibility of “What if I can?”
In Rainer Maria Rilke’s book, Letters to a Young Poet, he suggests for us to “try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language.” He says not to “search for the answers…because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything.” Instead, Rilke implores us to “Live the questions now” and “Perhaps…someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way to the answer”.
Wonder interests me more than certainty ever will. I ask more questions than I ever even try to answer. I prefer the open-endedness of a question rather than the fixity of an exclamatory assertion. That’s why I love words like “maybe”, “what if”, and “perhaps”. They each represent the mysterious magnificence of possibility, even in the face reluctance and hesitation. Each points toward the latent power of potentiality potentiality, even and especially when feel powerlessly blocked behind the barricade of closed doors.
“Maybe” is a summons to a kind of questioning curiosity. “Perhaps” is a gesture that signals us to the unfathomable promise of awe-filled surprise. “What if” is a sacred calling that beckons us to come closer to the unrealized capacity of what could be.
“Maybe” we’re not good enough, but “maybe” we are. “Perhaps” we can’t change, “perhaps” we can’t make a difference, but “perhaps” we can. “What if” we go all in on everything we do? “What if” we open our hearts dangerously wide, so wide and so uncomfortably open that it scares the shit out of us? “What if” it break us? But, more importantly, “what if” it doesn’t?…