When choosing to embark on any adventure (not just travel), there is the excitement that pairs with, is inseparable from, the wide open field of ‘what might be’ in front of you. There is the wonder and the open eyes and what ifs and the listening. And sometimes within all of that gauzy filtered sunlight dream vision is a little root that has worked its way up into the path. You’re happily sauntering along taking in the newness, in awe of your own willingness to be there. You watch the leaves in the wind and down you go.
We have very, very bruised knees right now. And not just because we’ve knocked ‘em on the steel trailer one too many times. I cannot, will not, count the times I have exclaimed “I hate not knowing these things….”. Even typing this makes me smirk a bit. As if I’m supposed to inherently know how to Build a House On A Trailer. Or anything else for that matter. This process has revealed to us both how much we humans (some more than others) like to have control, or Know (capital intentional) what to do. We like to fix things, to problem solve. Yet, through a lot of discussion within and beyond these foot stomping moments, Eli and I have realized that this is not the whole point. It is not the tasks and the completion. That’s great, of course. But it is equally important to step back, to unlearn the habit of ridiculous expectation, to breathe.
We now have to remind ourselves, before and during all of this: Do not curse the growing tree. Do not curse the bruised knee. It is time to appreciate, to thank, that root.
“Useful ignorance” is a term from Thoreau and encapsulates what we are, now more than ever, continuously trying to cultivate more of. This has become a core part of our experience with the tiny house design/build. It was also true with travel - but it only being better articulated now. With travel, we could chalk up our not-knowing to the obvious - we didn’t grow up there, we don’t know the language or culture, everything is ‘foreign’ so naturally we shouldn’t expect to feel that we understand everything. Yet, with something that should be more familiar and accessible, we are learning that it is all the same game.
The key for us is to be able to - to be inspired to - continue to choose to take on and explore things we do not know jack about. People do it every day — it’s not a novel concept. Yet, for us, we’d like to intentionally apply it as a personal philosophy. Not to finger-wag nor write some kind of How-to manifesto. Just to investigate our own little funny lives here on earth. Hence our term for all of this being an experiment. We’re testing the water. We’re shifting our expectations. We’re stubbing our toes. And we’re trying to have fun doing it.