John Lennon wrote: There’s nothing you can know that can’t be known. I have to agree. I don’t think anyone teaches anyone else anything. Everyone already knows everything. For whatever reason, upon entering the dream of life, we forget what we already know. And so, in this way, those people we call teachers are merely helping those that they teach to remember what they have forgotten.
Sarah Orne Jewett said, “Write what you know.” E. L. Doctorow countered, “But how do you know what you know?” Thus the writer goes in search of his or her book. And what do we find when we find this book? John Lennon knew the answer. We find what we love, which is all we can ever know.
Think of that moment when you find the sentence that brings a moment into clarity. Think of that moment when you read something that cuts right to your heart. These moments are part discovery and part recognition. In fact, this is precisely what I felt when I first saw my wife: discovery and recognition. When we see what we love we discover what we have forgotten. When we see what we love, we feel both happiness and relief.
We are all teaching and we are all searching. We search our stories for the core of love; as readers we search bookstores for stories that sound like love. We search the world for the people we love, the foods we love, the games we love, the clothes we love. We search and we search, and when we find we remember again what it is to love, we remember again what it is to be us.
If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual and group conferencing.