Posted in Lore

Wisdom is Less of a Gift than a Purchase

Personification of wisdom (in Greek, "Σοφ...
Sophia, the Greek personification of wisdom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes I’m asked why I blog.

First and foremost, I blog for therapy.  Unlike a diary, it forces me to choose my words wisely.  Where a diary will take any abuse you want to give, my public blog requires I treat my thoughts with respect.  And in doing so, I find an appreciation for “life and all things peaceful, balanced, whole and precious.”

I blog for posterity.  It’s something to leave behind.  I don’t believe in a supernatural afterlife.  Even if I could, I wouldn’t want to hang around watching over my loved ones eternally.  In a recent mishap, I accidentally and unavoidably caught a glimpse of all the pictures on the Rebel’s phone.  Trust me when I say I don’t want to watch over them from above.

I blog to pass along a wisdom.  Ancient cultures sat around the fire listening to lore from their elders.  While I do have plenty of advice to share around the fire, most of it involves the perfect toasted marshmallow or the dangers of wielding hot pokers.  Besides, who has time to sit around a fire listening to their elders anymore?  Anything like that gets shared here as “Lore” for those who find it valuable enough to read.

Lady wisdom (2)
Lady wisdom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not sure at what age one becomes an elder, but I think I’m growing into it as gracefully as possible.  That is, kicking and screaming, my brittle nails shredding on the door frame of old age.  My daughter, the Romantic, reminded me that I once announced I was going to age naturally and embrace it — gray hair, wrinkles, and all.  Yeah . . . I was thirty-something and knew nothing of disappearing collagen or finding coarse, white eyebrows reaching out like odd antennae over the tops of my bifocals.  And so this thing of wisdom that comes with age is less of a gift than a purchase, dearly paid for with my declining condition.

Perhaps there is a responsibility to share what has been so expensive to attain.  Maybe I want to spare my children and readers the pain I’ve born.  After all, the suffering of my children is two-fold; once for their pain and another for the remembrance of my own mistakes.  Or maybe I just want to give you a shortcut, a life hack, so you can surpass where I have been and finish farther ahead.  Whatever the reason, sharing lore is clearly a primal need, present since men acquired the ability to speak.

English: The Seven Pillars of Wisdom rock form...
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom rock formation in Wadi Rum, Jordan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The elders of my youth have all passed away.  They, too, shared the experience of their years.  Some of it I remember, most of it has probably been forgotten.  The truth is, I gained less of my wisdom in listening than I found in living.  The toddler learns more from touching a hot oven than from being told it is hot.  Riding a bicycle can only be mastered after falling.  We learn to guard our heart once we know how deeply it can hurt.

I’m told there is occasionally wisdom in my words.  If you find it here, it is yours.  If you want to keep it, however, it’s going to cost you a couple of wrinkles and maybe a white antenna eyebrow.  But I guarantee it will be worth it.

Peace . . .



Trying to make sense of it all and . . . for the most part . . . doing it.

8 thoughts on “Wisdom is Less of a Gift than a Purchase

  1. Hey, better the antenna eyebrow than those long white whiskers coming out of the chin. Yes, wisdom is costly. Aren’t you glad you spent the money? I’d rather have the wrinkles than an empty head. We are supposed to make mistakes. My kids paid for mine too. I apologized and they accepted. You offer a lot here in sage wisdom. I like to make people think too, but mostly I need to do more of it myself. Especially before I open my mouth. I need a set of skid chains for it. I do share a lot with my kids. Mostly because we were not allowed to speak in my home growing up. We were allowed to respond with yes and no sir or ma’am. The more we share, the better it is for others. No wisdom was imparted from my family of origin so I guess I’m making up for it. I got a lot out of this post, thanks.

    1. It’s amazing how often I set out to write one thing and end up with a different message completely. It’s like in writing it the idea evolves and transforms. Come to think of it, much the same way a therapist gets you to answer your own questions. Yes, this is truly therapy for me.

      1. Have you read Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book “Big Magic”? It’s about how ideas come to us. Using writing is a great form of therapy and there is something leftover from not paying the therapist so you can take the kids out to dinner. 🙂

  2. May I add that you blog because you’re a natural writer and your writing has a way of reaching out over the tops of your bifocals like odd antennae? Again, awesome stuff, Jean! Your wise and quirky metaphors always make me smile.

  3. I will take any shortcut or life hack that you wish to share….oh wise one. 🙂 You already know that I think highly of you . 🙂 Also, if you haven’t read Big Magic, you should take insearchofitall’s advice and read it.

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