Quest Physics

“In the end, I’ve come to believe in something I call “The Physics of the Quest.” A force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity. The rule of Quest Physics goes something like this: If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey — either externally or internally — and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue…and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you’re prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.”

That’s a quote from Eat Pray Love and, interestingly, tonight is the first time I’ve really heard it. It’s the first time it’s really resonated within me.

Many are the weekends where I’m at home, as though there’s a magnetic pull between the casa and my person — not that I mind. It’s calm here. It’s peaceful. I like it. Why venture out? Inevitably, during the times when I’ve wandered for the sake of wandering or photographed towns I haven’t been to for a while, I come across something, someone or someplace that gives back. I’ll stop off for a coffee and overhear a conversation which makes me think, and in thinking I dust off a belief I didn’t know I had.

I’ll meander down a sidewalk and will step off to let the elderly man maintain his course and pass easily, only to hear words of thanks which make me wonder who wouldn’t do such a thing? In doing what comes naturally to me, he’s taught me two possible things (that I wouldn’t have considered had I sat at home): one, that not everyone would do the same — or two, that there are people who still appreciate small acts of kindness…and that I should do them for anyone, regardless of age. After all, kindness fosters kindness.

The idea of clues being tucked away in the everyday and in the adventure, in the hesitation and in our haste, is something that fascinates me…because it’s true. I’ve seen them. They’re like little Easter eggs waiting to be found, opened and enjoyed. Something sweet is in there — bitter though it may be at first — and you’re supposed to have it. Don’t let them sit there for eternity. Look for them. They lead to the truth.

Tonight I am thankful for a part of a movie coming to light after (strangely) having been passed over so many times before. And yet perhaps that’s a clue in itself. Slow down? Pay attention more? Listen and observe more frequently? Maybe it’s something a bit more harsh — something like one of those “difficult realities” that’s spoken of above. Maybe I’ve subconsciously avoided the passage because I wasn’t ready for it, for some reason or another. Regardless of why things come to light at the points which they do, I’m thankful for them all.

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