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.
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.