Sometimes “I don’t know” is me at my most intelligent. What’s the capitol of Uzbekistan? I don’t know. Where are my car keys? I don’t know. What direction should I go? Where is God? Why?

I hate not knowing. I would like to be Lucy with her nickel-a-proverb psychiatric business, always with the answers. But sometimes I am doomed to uncertainty, waiting, ignorance — uncomfortable, uneasy, confused. Hate it!

Unknowing is an empty place. And empty is good; embracing the empty is hard. The temptation is to cram it full, full of answers, plans, busyness. But my default is to reach for the wrong things to fill it with, and crowd out what just may come if I wait.

This time of year in my hometown, the neighbors break out rows of paper bags to line the streets, as far as the eye can see in any direction. The bags aren’t much to look at in and of themselves — they’re empty, save for a little sand in the bottom. But night falls, and thousands of little candles are lit, one in each bag (that’s not a fire hazard). Empty becomes light. Empty becomes beauty. And suddenly, empty is full.

So where will I be in a year? I don’t know. But maybe I don’t need to figure it out.

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