Monday, April 13, 2015

Word of the Week - 58

Art by Lynda Barry.
Word of the Week:  MULL

"How is a thought like an iceberg?"  Ponder, contemplate, consider, weigh, think.  Good thing I'm not a zealot for quantifying.  I don't want to know how much of any day I spend asking myself rhetorical questions, posing conundrums, seeking answers where perhaps none exist.  It is not time wasted, however.  If we don't wonder about things, we are marooned.  Mulling gives us bearings or at least tells us where we are not.

"My apologies to great questions for small answers."  From her poem "Under One Small Star" by Wislawa Szymborska.
Painting by Quint Buchholz.
The moon often appears, or plays a leading role, in the art of Quint Buchholz.  The moon is an attractive object for mullers.  Mystery is attractive to mullers, or more accurately, is essential.  If we knew the secrets we would have no need to ask the questions.

To mull is not to deconstruct (shudder).  If I arrive at any truths, ever, it is by widening the screen, not narrowing my focus.  It seems to be a process of allowing rather than intention, clearing space on a shelf then leaving the room to see what comes to settle in the empty spot.  Mulling, contemplation generally, is similar to my approach to writing fiction.  I stand at the curb waiting for a car to pull up, then watch to see who gets out.

Rilke told us to love and to live the questions.  Do not forget that being comfortable with not knowing isn't the same as not asking.


Kass said...

I spend a considerable length of time each day mulling over all possibilities of meaning in the objects or beings I encounter, whether real or imagined. After reading this, I feel a little better about my ruminations.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - I hope you realize you have company, even if I can only guarantee myself. Ruminative, there's a fitting adjective. I have always been partial to pondering. Looking for meaning has to be our unwritten, unspoken and yet primary assignment. The looking seems to be even more important than the finding. Should we wait for the others to appear or start a club now? xo

Kass said...

Marylinn, I'd join any club you were in.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Thank you, that makes me smile. Let's consider our yet-unnamed club officially launched. No dues, no secret handshake, no hazing, no by-laws, no meetings. We need our time for larger things. xo

Elizabeth said...

How did I miss this beautiful post! I'm here, though, catching up!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Elizabeth - Thank you and never too late. Your dance card has been rather full. xo