15 July, 2013  |   5 Comments

Beating the Why Drum

Secret Beach

Toddlers ask why.
I should know, I have had them, beating the why drum at every turn.

Eat your blueberries.
Why?
Pick up your toys.
Why?
Get down from there.
Why?

Secret Beach

And what I want to say is:
There is no why.
Really.
For the littles and the bigs.

The why doesn’t matter.
Things happen.

The problem with grownups,
no, the problem with me,
is that I looked for the why,
like I could control it.

Why is my life not more together, why am I not successful, why was her email rude, why did s/he break up with me?
Why, why do we complain so much, why, those of us born into loving homes with healthy families and the embarrassing excess of support?

Why doesn’t matter, never will.

Secret Beach

Just like in the universe.
Planets slam together, birds mate, or don’t.
And the why matters not at all.

I can feel you getting your imaginary haunches up, but why!
Why is important!
It’s philosophical! Psychological! Answering the Why has created the basis for every story and technological advance we have in this world!

Has it?

I would say the why is a fairly fruitless endeavor.
We cannot know motivations.
We can know the what.
What happened next.
What happened first.
But why. Why is holding me back.

Was she jealous? Is she trying to get ahead politically? Does he have a crush on me?

Why is the question that has always disappointed me.
Why is never good enough.

But why you don’t love me?
But what is the reason for her stroke, that cancer, that celebration or that unfathomable pain?

Why do we exist?

Secret Beach

And when I stopped caring about why,
why was that a failure?
And just accepted life,
Life as a fairly random assortment of coincidences, rumblings, and mistakes,
my life became an adventure.

My life is something I can only marginally control
something I go along with,
something I make the best of.

And the only thing I wonder is:
Why does it matter to you?

Secret Beach


5 thoughts on “Beating the Why Drum

  1. 1

    I’m gonna read this post to Niko. So good.

  2. 2

    Great read. Thanks for this!

  3. 3

    i love you so much + we were supposed to be neighbors.

  4. 4
    kelly sullivan says:

    Thank you Helen! This is just wonderful.

  5. 5
    Alexandra says:

    So wise, as usual! Thank you so much for this, I will be thinking on this all day . . .

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