I was sitting waiting for some Chinese take-out the other night and the people behind the counter started conversing boisterously, presumably in Chinese, and I had this deep feeling all of a sudden: I really wished I knew what they were talking about, cause, for one, they seemed pretty entertained and, also, in my conceited mind, I wanted to make sure they weren’t making fun of my new mock-turtle-neck (why did I wear it out of the apartment anyway??).
But then it hit me: that the not-knowing was somehow even more soothing, cause it preserved this mystery forever. I’d never know what they were talking about and that was a-ok, since if for some miracle I learned Mandarin (or Cantonese?) in that instant, this mystery-bubble would most likely burst once I realized, oh she’s just talking about getting flood insurance cause her sister recommended it. Wow, that’s um, sort of, oh Chicken with String beans, that’s me.
And this happy ignorance reminds of when sometimes you just wake up from a nap, you know, you’re still sort of in sleep-mode, you open your eyes and the first thing you see is what appears to be a wooden dragon! And you’re like, “Um, what’s a wooden dragon doing in my room?” You’re sort of startled, so you squint your eyes (this all happens in an instant), you study the image and it still looks like a wooden dragon, wow! And for this split second you feel a rush, you feel touched by a magic of some kind, a mystery, an unknown.
But then you turn your head just a hair and you see the wooden dragon for what it really is: a hanger caught on a shirt funny. And you try to make it look like a wooden dragon again but you can’t, no matter how you turn your neck or whatever. The bubble burst. And you’re all like, “Jeez I never should have moved my head, cause then the magic would still be there.”
That’s sort of what I mean by happy ignorance, embracing the not-knowing, prolonging that feeling of mystery and swimming in it.