24 August 2014

Get Lost to Get Found: A Field Guide to Getting Lost

A friend sent this because we were talking about making plans (or, more accurately, not making them). I've written more than one essay about plans on this space and thought the quotes were interesting. The block quite is from a book by Rebecca Solnit, and the pull quote is Maria Popova from the surprisingly good Brain Pickings.

But unlike the dark sea, which obscures the depths of what is, of what could be seen in the present moment, the unknown spills into the unforeseen. Solnit turns to Edgar Allan Poe, who argued that “in matters of philosophical discovery … it is the unforeseen upon which we must calculate most largely,” and considers the deliberate juxtaposition of the rational, methodical act of calculation with the ineffable, intangible nature of the unforeseen:
How do you calculate upon the unforeseen? It seems to be an art of recognizing the role of the unforeseen, of keeping your balance amid surprises, of collaborating with chance, of recognizing that there are some essential mysteries in the world and thereby a limit to calculation, to plan, to control. To calculate on the unforeseen is perhaps exactly the paradoxical operation that life most requires of us.

Kind of dense but it can't all be puppies and babies and babies and puppies around here.

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