“We have joined the caravan, you might say, at a certain point; we will travel as far as we can, but we cannot in a lifetime see all that we would like to see or learn all that we hunger to know.”
– From Loren Eiseley’s The Immense Journey: An Imaginative Naturalist Explores the Mysteries of Man and Nature
Sometimes I think it’s unfair to be given infinite potential exercised in finite reality. How cruel for the creator to mould us in Its image–to install in us a hunger for knowledge, a deep curiosity–only to find, as Eiseley says, that all we would like to see or learn, all that we hunger to know, we cannot in a lifetime see.
Then again, lonely as this passage makes me, I think about 101-year-old Marion Cannon Schlesinger and marvel at her musings on human potential–it seems we’ve only scratched the surface of our capacity. She says, to young women especially:
Just go ahead and do your thing no matter what.
But there are strong women everywhere whether they have higher education or not! There have always been strong women.
This idea that feminism was created in the last twenty years is ridiculous. When you think of all the women that went across the continent in covered wagons. Really. It’s ridiculous. It’s a lot of baloney. If they’d read a little history, they’d find out that women have been powerful characters all through the history of the United States.
I think there are a lot of privileged women who are frustrated. They just don’t know what they want to do and they need to go out and use their education and talent.
Well-taken-care-of women who are well-educated, highly intelligent, well-read – a woman who has all this quality, all this talent, all this energy and yet nowhere to put it—I don’t know. I really feel very sorry for them.
I think I’ve been very lucky. But I think that I’ve made some of it for myself. I never gave up. I wanted it all, in other words, and I think I really almost got it all too.
Just keep going.
Have lots of people in the house and lots of different kinds of people – young, old, black, white, people from all over the world. People have always energized me.
There are those like her and there are also those like Loren Eiseley. They both make me miss Ray Bradbury–but that’s another story. Keep believing, keep doing.