The title of this piece is rather a misnomer because all I know are the things I think I know, and I have learned not to trust everything I think.
Still, as a thinking, working, writing entity, I have often written about things I have learned from grief and from life. Most recently, I’ve been mentioning lessons I learned from gardening, such as:
- You get what you get and what you get is not always what you deserve.
- If you’ve done everything you know how to do to change things, then you have no other recourse except to accept what is.
- Take care of that which you can, and if things grow out of your control, do the best you can with that, too
- Be patient.
- Don’t be intimidated.
- Some things live, and some things die.
- Focus on the details, but also look at the big picture.
- Be adaptable. (This is one I have not spoken of specifically, but all of my gardening posts intimate the importance of adaptability.)
Those “learning” posts reminded me of a book I once read called All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. The author listed such things as: learn some and think some, draw and paint and sing and dance, and be aware of wonder. Those are good things to know, too, but I don’t remember learning them in kindergarten. To be honest, that was so long ago, I have only the vaguest notion of even going to kindergarten.
I do remember my first day of first grade, however. I hung my blue nubby jacket with a multicolor tiny-checked lining in the cloak closet — as it was called back then, even though no one even knew what a cloak was — then I sat down. To my horror, I discovered I was in the wrong classroom, and I bolted out of there. I have no idea how I got my coat back; all I know is that I was too embarrassed to retrieve it. So I suppose I could add this pithy bit from the first grade to these lists of “all I know”: Mistakes happen; deal with them . . . or don’t.
When I came online today to jot down my thoughts about all I know, the first thing that greeted me was the saying: “When it comes down to it, the only knowledge that really matters is how to purify water, how to grow your own food, how to cook, how to build, and how to love.”
So that’s something else to add to what I know — not how to purify water, which incidentally, I do know how to do; not how to grow food, which I know hypothetically; not how to build because it’s too late in the game for me to learn, though again, I know the basics hypothetically because I’ve watched a lot of building going on around here; and not how to love, though I do know that, or at least, I once did — but that the internet can read minds.
A final note on things I know — although it’s not something I know or even believe, I do take comfort in times from a line in the Desiderata: “And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”
Looking over this post, it seems as if what I’ve written today can be summed it up with a simple credo: “It’s life. Live it the best way you can.”
O even more simply, “Live.”
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.