Staying with the Questions

I’m a little obsessed with getting to the very bottom of a question, and then filling up the hole with all the resources I can find. Tell me more. What’s it about? How does it feel? What is the problem you want to solve?

Curious, always. But then I do have trouble staying with the question. I want to answer it, and answer it again. Look what I found! What about this? And this? Does it satisfy the hunger underneath what you asked?

Like a magpie, I collect things, facts, articles. And then, like that old commercial for Lay’s potato chips… I can’t eat just one. More, says my brain. More, says my belly. More, says my heart.

During the pandemic I am growing fat with questions. There are no answers, no matter how much I read. People still get sick. They die. Not always from COVID but from cancer or a terrible bike-versus-truck crash. Nothing is certain.

I’m obsessed with pursuing answers, even when I know that the well of questions has no bottom. No matter how hard I try, I cannot fill it. I can only say, in my better moments, “I have questions too. Let’s sit a while. I’ll hold your hand.” I’m a little obsessed with fixing things. But I do know how to sit still, sometimes, when the moon is full and the world is quiet and I have a friend beside me.

I’m a little obsessed, sometimes, with things that don’t matter. With things I can’t budge. That have to move and change in their own time. Or maybe, I could just look away. Rest my gaze elsewhere. Let go of obsession. Just be.

Michelle Hynes is an Integral Coach who helps nonprofit leaders find more joy, ease, and impact at work.

Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

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