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March 7, 2012
Posted at 8:08 pm

Limits, Those We Know And Those We Don't

Drat! I wish the ideas I have when I am in the shower or in the middle of the night when I'm stumbling to the bathroom in the dark, would last until I could write them down. I know I had two good ones....

So, I'll write about something else I was thinking. Writing about life can never be all inclusive. By definition, once you start recording details, you limit what gets recorded. Ten tons of information are out there waiting to be observed. It won't all fit! It doesn't matter what media you use, it won't all fit.

If it's a person you're writing about, even yourself, you cannot possibly post everything in that person's life. You have to pick and choose what is relevant to the message you are conveying. Even your brain doesn't record it all. On July 21st, 2008, at 11:31 p.m., you saw 253 moths circling a street light. One minute later, there were 257, but some new moths came, and others left. Your brain did not keep track one way or the other, unless you're an lepidopterist. Maybe it isn't important. We have to figure out how to screen the data to bring it down to manageable levels.

However, it's an conundrum that I think about often. If I see a photograph of an flower with a butterfly, in my mind a whole garden of plants and insects is evoked. I've jumped to a conclusion that all the rest is identical, or at least, not dissimilar. What makes this one photograph so special? Why this one? Why not another five minutes ago? Or tomorrow? Or a foot away?

It could be that this is all mental masturbation. I hope at the very least it helps me to remember I don't know everything, and that by not knowing everything, I really don't know what is important and what isn't. I have to come to some sort of acceptable interpretation so I can navigate my world, but I should be damned aware that infinity spins around me completely outside of my 'knowledge,' my comfort zone.

To put it another way: THE WORLD IS NOT WHAT I THINK IT IS. But, I must define it somehow so I can live in it. As soon as I do that, though, I limit my ability to understand. And that, my friends, is what we do to each other.

I offer up Timmy as an offering of another person's world, to increase your understanding of what you do not yet know, and to help you step outside of your comfort zone.