In passing, when talking about a TV show (of which I can remember nothing) my brother-in-law said “This character started pursuing this interest. It was like he found something he was curious about. And that’s what keeps life interesting, isn’t it… curiosity?”
In a panic, I reviewed my own life and wondered what it was that kept me curious. I think the most obvious answer is that I’m curious to see how our kids will develop, what life choices they will make, what kind of people they will become. Does that count? Perhaps that’s one of the reasons for having kids… to provide that genuine padlock of interest/curiosity/love that attaches us to this life.
I think curiosity is important. And I would love to think that I’m a curious and engaged person. But, to some degree, I think I perceive the freedom to pursue curiosity as largely the luxury of the unattached. I don’t perceive my life (at this point in time) as being about curiosity. I am just one cog in a larger machine and that machine is made up of the people I care about. A cog can’t run off and pursue it’s own wishes. It helps to keep the machine going. It has a role.
But I enjoy our children’s curiosity. This morning P reported to me that, on the way to school, he and our son were listening to Holst’s “The Planets”. Our son has been playing with a music program where he makes rhythms and tunes and mixes instruments and he has learned a little about timing and the way you write it out so that the different instruments know when to play what they have to. He has created interesting syncopated rhythms which he has adjusted carefully by moving shapes on a screen. This morning he asked his Dad: “Daddy, how many columns did they need to write this music?” How fabulous! What an amazing piecing together of knowledge! What great listening! And guess what it lead to … another question.
Oh yes, curiosity is a wonderful thing. I just don’t know if it’s my thing right now. And maybe that’s okay.