Poke, poke, prod.

by

Work in progress, 16"x20" oil on canvas, © Sarah Marie Lacy 2010

Work in progress, 16"x20" oil on canvas, © Sarah Marie Lacy 2010

 

Sometimes I drive Jesse nuts. He’ll ask me to do something (“Can you grab that plate for me?”) and my response is always, “Why? What do you need it for?”

Not in an offensive way, of course. I’m happy to grab the plate. But I’m a questioner, a poker and prodder of life. I ruminate, ponder and mull over absolutely everything. Armed with a large stick, I venture into the world to promptly…poke it.

I accept nothing at face value. I’m not into gurus and someone to tell me how I should be acting and what I should be believing. You can blame my father, who hated anything “established.” We’d both prefer to find our own way.

I prefer to have ideas about things, rather than beliefs. I want the ability to change my mind later, if my prodding reveals other information.

I want to know the whys, the whats, the hows. I come across something interesting and of course, I have to stop and say “What’s this?” It means I’m always living half in the present and half in my own head. I’m renowned amongst my friends for being flakey. I’ll be talking about something, I’ll have be expounding on some idea or another, and pretty much everything else gets forgotten in the process. It can seem like I’m constantly wandering around in a half daze. (Err, that’s because I am.)

I get really uncomfortable when someone says “This is how the world is. I’m right, you’re wrong.” Do you know that for sure? I wonder. How do you know?

I’m often plagued with doubt about things, and don’t know what to believe. But then I’m not even sure if it’s necessary to believe in something. Maybe I can just have lots of ideas about things.

And I know I can really upset people when I do this – they have their strong beliefs and I applaud them for it. I just make them really uncomfortable with my lack of beliefs, with my insistence on over-examining everything. Can’t you just let it go? friends, family, everyone will ask me.

Probably not. I have to mull it over, extract something from it. Maybe I’m looking for the essence of it, maybe I’m just curious, maybe I want to learn a lesson from it. They say a life unexamined isn’t a life worth living – I don’t know if that’s true, but I’m certainly testing it out.

I’m a skeptic, but not a cynic. I like the world because it gives me more things to poke. I examine myself, my thoughts, my art, my beliefs (I do have some beliefs, they’re just often rudely questioned), other people’s thoughts and beliefs, the world at large, the meaning of my life and the meaning of your life. Why are we here? What are we doing? What’s right? What’s wrong? Do either of those things even exist in a concrete manner?

I’m constantly looking for answers, but not just anyone’s answers. My answers. What feels right to me? What would make me happiest? What do I like? What do I love? What do I hate? What do I want?

What is true? What is real? What matters most?

No wonder I drive people nuts…