I find myself often in the peculiar place of being an author with no words.
Many times I struggle to articulate though I am a writer. Words are my lifeblood. Yet people often hear from me “I swear, English is my first language.” It feels as though there is no excuse for my inability to convey concepts clearly. And then it’s followed by such beautiful alliteration: ‘convey concepts clearly’.
Another piece of the duality of our nature, perhaps. Or simply the existence of what we are. ‘To err is human’, says Alexander Pope. Is that the only way we can define ourselves? Through our mistakes? Through that which we aren’t?
Fairly recently–in the sieve that is often my mind that might mean three months or three years ago–a friend was talking with me about the scientific process. People believe that scientists come up with a hypothesis and set to prove it. The opposite is true. They have an idea and proceed to try to disprove it. It is the gaps between the knowledge that helps us define just what a thing is.
In American culture, we define failure as something bad. It means that you are wrong, that you are the failure. We have been trained that our worth is based on what we have done–good or bad. But to err is human, and that is what each of us are.
That seems to be a saving grace. When we err, we are defining some portion of ourselves. No, that’s inaccurate. Each mistake made is a precise moment that we see the edge of our boundary between us and not us.
Experimentation, my dear travellers. Let us be as scientists and see what we can learn through the disproving of ourselves, the ‘failures’ and ‘mistakes’. Let’s discover what we can of the big picture of ourselves and our world.