All situations reveal uncertainty, of this I am certain.
There is an art to what I am about to describe.
A craft and skill in approaching the uncertain,
sniffing out where it may be hiding in a situation
(it is often hiding),
and using artifacts to coax it into the light.
The raised tone of a sentence end.
The furtive glance for accord.
A Freudian slip, its unintended riposte.
The heat of the moment helping me
paint myself into a corner, and uncover
Dumb questions affording deep answers.
Mystery inciting landscapes with ledges of knowing.
Engagement shaping uncertainty to acceptable proportions,
shifting vast sections of the unknown into invisible dimensions
so that we can, at least, begin.
“Do you know that if is the middle word in life?”
— Photojournalist, quoting Kurtz. Apocalypse Now
If is a chasm, a void, an unfinished doodle waiting for your stroke.
If allows, but cannot make, creating a gap that invites us to
fill it with whatever we are gathered here to learn.
If asks, framed by the gathering, the request,
and what we know to be true
(but more on that later).
If is exactly one half of the future.
She scooped up the pen and scrawled his life on a post-it.
Movement and change.
Intention and outcome.
Action commits something to the present,
to being present.
‘If’ takes us there, action brings a part of us back here.
The secret to the art is: part of us is just enough.
These truths we hold…
These truths will guide us.
These truths are our levers, they allow us to
communicate beyond the surface, and into belief.
Facts and their beliefs are entangled pairs,
forever connected, however distant.
One invokes the other.
Facts act through their beliefs.
Deft factual action is one
necessary craft of the art.