the road to understanding
The road less traveled?
The path not taken?
The sound of the different drummer?
On this first day of new year and new decade (or not depending on how you see the calendar).
Yes to all three.
Understanding the less traveled road.
Understanding the path not taken.
Understanding the different drummer.
All takes effort.
I am not thinking here of earth shaking, life changing decisions.
I am thinking here about what I like.
I am thinking about two things actually.
I came across this combination of words in a cookbook (The Outlaw Cook by John Thorne) in an essay about a spice store.
Thorne writes, “The difference between the simple knowledge of a craft and its mastery is the difference between ingestion and a very long period of digestion. … The road to such an understanding [of the spice trade] is complex, demanding and ultimately fascinating.”
Some years ago I decided I was going to figure out the game of Cricket.
Once beyond a basic grasp of the rules, I learned I was a long way from understanding the game.
But I was hooked and my fascinating trip continues.
I can’t remember why I took up with cricket but later I read this bit of C.S. Lewis in the Screw Tape Letters.
Writing as a senior Devil or Tempter to new recruit, Screwtape says, “I would make it a rule to eradicate from my patient any strong personal taste which is not actually a sin, even if it is something quite trivial such as a fondness for county cricket or collecting stamps or drinking cocoa. Such things, I grant you, have nothing of virtue in them; but there is a sort of innocence and humility and self-forgetfulness about them which I distrust. The man who truly and disinterestedly enjoys any one thing in the world, for its own sake, and without caring twopence what other people say about it, is by that very fact fore-armed against some of our subtlest modes of attack. You should always try to make the patient abandon the people or food or books he really likes in favour of the “best” people, the “right” food, the “important” books.”
I can grasp the search for understanding of things that have nothing of virtue in them, but a sort of innocence and humility and self-forgetfulness inherent in them.
A complex and demanding road to understanding something with a sort of innocence and humility and self-forgetfulness about it.