If you were a house, how would you be built?
Low to the ground with few windows? Or near the sky, characterized by sliding doors and window panes? Ornate and complex? Or maybe quaint and plain? A big back yard? Or maybe it’s small. Maybe you don’t want a backyard at all. If you were a house, would you let me in? To get warm by the fire, to shut out the world’s din.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
Would you be big and strong, bold and brawny? Crashing down mountains, loud and scary. Or would you be small and quick, running without care, without concern or worry? With the sun and the trees. With your thoughts. With me.
If you were a book, what would be your title?
Would it be clever or quirky? Or maybe simple-minded. Would it reflect the problems of the day, or the wonders of the night? Would it be long or short? Dark or light? Would it be poetic, not apparent in its meaning? Or would it be plain, the words simple and easy? Would it be bold? Would it be brash? Or would it be funny? Would it make me laugh?
If you were a song, how would you be sung?
Soft and low? Or echoing, bellowed from big stages in front of bigger crowds? Would your words move like easy rivers, or restless waterfalls? Would your chords find happy ears or sad souls? Would your chorus resonate with many, or wander into a few, specific homes? What would you be about? Life? Death? Choice? Love?
If you were a word, how would you be spoken?
Is your connotation one of happiness, good times and glad memories? Or one of darkness, mourning and sadness? Would you be savored on the lips of those who speak of you? Or would you be spat out, your taste unsatisfying to some? Would you be a word of praise? Or a word of curse? Would you be shouted or whispered? Annunciated or mumbled? Would you be used in books and songs? Is your pronunciation short or long? Could I use you in a sentence? Could I say you while smiling, remembering the times you describe?
If you were a spirit, where would you linger? Where would you linger for the rest of time? For all of time? For eternity?
Don’t answer that.
We ask ourselves questions, or maybe we ask others. Because the answers to those questions are the compensation to the ever-lasting occupation of life. We need them. They bring us closure and certainty. They tell us how the world works, how other people work, how we work. They’re good things, those answers. And we should always strive to find them.
But sometimes we need to let those questions be. Sometimes answers aren’t what we need to push us through our lives, to guide us through this prolonged profession. Sometimes we need to allow those questions to lay in the back of our minds, building up, breaking down, and building up again.
Because the most valuable truths result from the pursuit of the answer, not the answer itself. And the most important questions are those that remain unanswered.