Even the wisest of men don’t see when they’re about to be blindsided, for if they could then how could it be labeled such? No sense of togetherness, completeness, or awareness is completely fool proof; one cannot possibly look at every minute angle at once. But far less plausible is the idea that they can not only look in every direction simultaneously, but process and understand the information they receive in doing so and use it to completely and accurately predict future events. No, a wise man can still be made a fool, so much so that he questions the reality of his supposed wisdom, and wonders if it existed in the first place.
I think of it this way: wisdom envies the need to love, be loved, and to belong. The aforementioned need wields such awesome powers of persuasion that they can be likened, perhaps, to the hammer of Thor. What is wisdom though apart from words and ideas implanted into the mind as part of growing up? How is it more than a quiet voice, or a book that’s so easily ignored? It’s nothing, literally nothing more. It speaks, but even the loudest voice can’t be heard over the strike of an almighty hammer and a crack of thunder. It’s a book those of us who care to read often flip open for guidance, filling in the blanks as we go – maybe it starts out, when we’re 3, telling us that maybe we ought not touch that stove – it’ll hurt, very bad, but expands as we grow so that by the time we reach adulthood, we know who to trust and who to be careful with, among other things. It can’t remind us of all of its words if it’s closed though, or if its voice is muted – I’ve learned that way too many times and I think you have as well, at some point.
Even to the wisest of men, beauty speaks louder than wisdom, and being blindsided by so much of it strips the wise man of all his inhibitions except those of greatest importance. Wisdom is cast aside like yesterday’s leftovers, then the need to love and be loved and belong takes over, and brings with it some of its best friends – compassion, empathy, fondness, desire, love, and blissful blindness. And together, those little guys, so small and cute and dressed like angels, softly caress with gentle hands the wise man’s misgivings into loving, trusting submission, whispering softly to them that everything is going to be okay; “Let down your guard, this will make you happy. Let the heart guide the way.”
It’s all foolish fantasy though, and any truly wise man should, and would, know that. The heart casts aside everything that is logical, everything that is, in favor of “hope hope, hope hope, hope hope, hope hope, hope hope,” ringing the word with every beat. It tells you it’s okay to feel the way you do, that everything will work out like you wanted it to in the end; ‘Don’t worry! We got this!’
And the book of wisdom, that living, talking, apparently not so all knowing source of guidance, sits patiently in the background – and it waits, waits for the man to realize that his heart is wrong and it was right all along. And on that day when he inevitably falls on his face, abandoned by his broken heart and rolling on to his side, wiping the blood from his chin and staring despairingly into its helpless eyes, wisdom comes back and extends a hand to help the man up. And it speaks, in its ever quiet voice, “See what I was saying, you foolish little child? I still have much to teach you. Now we aren’t going to let this happen again, are we?”
And all the wise man can do is hang his head in humility, and lie to wisdom itself once more: “No. I’ve finally learned my lesson.”
Do you hear me? Do you hear me more clearly than I hear myself? I speak these words so often in my own mind that they are a mantra, so why can’t I understand them? If you have read any of this and given it so much as a second’s thought, then yes. You hear me, and that’s enough for me. I can’t expect you to understand that which is so far-fetched that I can’t come close to grasping it myself.