Kicking the Hornet’s Nest

I spend a great deal of time poking at hidden things.  I open cans of worms; I kick hornet’s nests; I turn over rocks to see what lies wriggling underneath.  And, I ask questions – tons and tons of questions, sometimes to the dismay of my colleagues, and my family, and my friends.  I hold the flashlight and shine it right into the face of things that are more comfortable in darkness, in the secret places where they cannot be examined.

Some of this is innate – I am a curious person, and examining something from every conceivable angle until I *know* it fills me with the kind of ecstasy most ascribe to moments of a more…intimate nature.   And, don’t get me wrong – I enjoy sex as much as anyone, and perhaps more than many…but the perfect blend of the emotional and the physical that so many of my loved ones ascribe to it is, for me, found in that first perfect moment when I truly understand something new.

This, as one might assume, means that I am sometimes extremely difficult to be around.  When active avoidance of a topic is the MO, I have to deliberately focus to not only not see the elephant in the room, but also keep from asking it questions about how it got onto the elevator.

It also means, though, that I am a Very Useful Tool, and that some of the Powers That Be have a vested interest in keeping me in good repair.  My boss at my day job, for example, knows I will dig deeply into anything he asks me to investigate and bring back every single piece of information available.  My boss’ boss, the head of Quality Assurance for our company, has come to welcome me greeting him with, “I opened another can.”  They both know, as does anyone who works with me, that I will worry a thing until it breaks open and reveals its creamy center, and that benefits almost everyone involved.

Mmmmmm….creamy center….*drools*

Outside of my day job, I remain a Very Useful Tool.  This thing I do, this poking, and prodding, and questioning, and untangling, brought me the attention of the netjeru before I knew that they were available to me as more than a list of Names in a book of mythology.  It brought me Work to Do that was ecstatic and transformative, but wrapped to make it seem smaller and less critical than it turned out to be.  It is the primary way I uphold ma’at, the concept that is so critical to Kemetic practice.  It is integral to my FlameKeeping work – the Dark Flame Wayfinder guides through the nebulous so the seeker can see the infinite potential(s) waiting for them.  It forms the foundation of my web work – how can I know what to untangle and what to leave in place if I don’t ask the question, or at least get right up against the threads to trace where they are connected?

To ask, to kick, to nudge, to pry – these are not without consequences.  For every piece of knowledge gained, for every insight, there is something better left unknown, or untouched.  My head is filled with things I’d rather forget but cannot, and I’m reminded of some platitude about being unable to put knowledge back where it belongs.  Once opened, a box can never return to its unopened state…but then again, I’ve always found Pandora to be a kindred spirit, and wasn’t Hope at the bottom of that box anyway?

I am the one who Questions, and I have no regrets.  The reward is worth a thousand stings.

4 responses to “Kicking the Hornet’s Nest

  1. I’ve found that while I love asking questions, I sometimes am too forward and put off potential new friends by digging too deeply too fast. I think I’m better at managing this inclination now. Did you or do you ever have this situation?

    • I know I’ve put people off by asking about things they didn’t want to discuss, and I’m sure it has kept me from forming friendships. I can turn it off, though – I’m relatively good at reading body language and social cues so if I see someone reacting in a certain way, I back off…unless the purpose of my questions is to cause that very reaction

      It’s tricky. A lot of what I do every day involves provoking a reaction to promote awareness, and being provoked is uncomfortable. It might be extremely helpful for someone to realize that they skipped a step in a process, for example, but getting to that realization can be awful, and I know there are people I work with who would choose a root canal over a happy hour with me.

      From a religious standpoint, I *have* to ask, and I *have* to call things out when I see them. That also makes people uncomfortable and I know there are people who will never want to befriend me because of things I’ve said (last year, for example, I think I managed to piss off an entire denomination), and I’ve learned to be okay with that because the alternative is to start judging what I do by the standards of others…and that’s just not an option (see the name of my blog for reference).

      Those I am closest to, my friends, my family, either actively encourage me to question, know I will and put up with it, or tell me to knock it off. For them, I’ll shut it down.

  2. I realized this morning that I have a similar Thing, but I don’t poke at hornets’ nests or open cans- I poke at people. I like to know them, insomuch as I really can, and I have a tendency to ask questions that are maybe not appropriate for how well we know each other, or the time or place. It’s been a really noticeable thing at work, getting to know so many new people all at once, and I’ve taken to warning people that I sometimes have problems telling if a question is too forward, or if I’m revealing something of myself that’s TMI, and that I encourage them to enforce their boundaries as they need to. I don’t want to upset people, I just want to get to know them better, and I’m always curious about how people tick.

    But I definitely understand that sense of satisfaction when I know something- though mine isn’t nearly so intimate, possibly because knowing a Thing and knowing a Person are very different things, and at least one of them is never an entirely fixed subject.

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