Possibility Revisited

~ Champagne  View ~

~ Champagne View ~ (Photo credit: ViaMoi)

Last Monday I posted this quote. This week I am reposting it with some context–it is my weekly column for the newspaper:

“When nothing is sure, everything is possible.” ~ Margaret Drabble, English author

“Things I Know for Sure” is a topic that Oprah takes on monthly in her magazine. She is sure about a lot of things, but I imagine a column called “Things I Do Not Know For Sure” would have a longevity far outlasting our lives on this earth.

Sure is a strong word, a confident word: one that should not be bandied about lightly. This I know for sure. When you start to work with a word whose cousins are unquestionable, undisputed, certain, definite, unerring, infallible, and accurate among others (sorry to the cousins, better known as synonyms I have left out) then you should be certain of what you are saying. I am hardly ever “certain” of what I am saying, as so many factors make up a situation.

I like Margaret Drabble’s quote that, “When nothing is sure, everything is possible” as it gives you leeway. If you know something for sure there is no wiggle room.  Sometimes you do not need wiggle room, but sometimes you do. And in that wiggle room there is space for possibility.

I am going to take on Oprah’s generous mantle and give you some examples of things that I do know for sure. There are certain givens when it comes to being sure about something—I know for sure that I love a variety of people in my life: my husband and kids and my family among them. But most of us know these things for sure. (Not all of us—some of us were given families that are hard to love—I was lucky in this respect). But here are some other things that I know for sure:

1. Even though this is the last week in February, and it seems like spring will never come– it will. For sure. And it will surprise us. Every year I am surprised when the trees bud and sprout leaves; when the daffodils show their frilly heads; when I no longer have to don coat and hat and mitts and boots to go out the door.

2. Unless there is some other reason to do so, I will always write up this column and council news as the deadline looms dangerously close. I wish I did not know this for sure.

Cat Woman had a Jet too!

Cat Woman had a Jet too! (Photo credit: Felix_Nine)

3. I will never become a cat woman. Or Cat Woman. The first because I only sort of like the cat we have (the one my family loves to bits); and I am too old to be cast in a Batman movie. Also, I am not an actress (though I am not sure this is a real prerequisite to playing Cat Woman). There are a number of other obvious reasons I could not be Cat Woman, but my ego is too fragile to go into them.

4. I will never become a gourmet cook unless I have someone to clean up after me.  Sure, I would love to cook to my heart’s content, and I admit my fast and frenzied time in the kitchen is cut short by the thought of having to clean up the mess I have made. I would even try recipes that have more than five ingredients and three steps if I had someone cleaning up the havoc I have wrought.

5. I will continue to spray Pledge in the air and put the vacuum out to make it smell and look like I care about a clean house. I do care about a clean house, but once I clean it, I would like it to stay that way. What I know for sure: it will never stay that way. (And for good reason—people have to live here.)

6. I know for sure that now that Council is only twice a month, there will be no more surprise meetings of less than an hour. I am sure this will not happen—if we get out of there in less than two hours it is a miracle. Then again, do we want the business of the municipality rushed? I think not—but I do remember those short meetings fondly.

7. I now know for sure that I will not get an exclusive interview with the Queen. First of all she has acquiesced to a number of interviews over the years; and second, it is not in this paper’s budget.

8. I know for sure that I will not be writing a column about all the things that I do not know for sure. I will save that for Volumes 1-13 on the subject. Each a thousand pages. There is a lot I do not know for sure.

So, you and I are just going to have to placate ourselves with the fact that knowing things for sure really does limit possibilities—and who would want that?

Possibility is the ultimate bliss–what do you think?

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Published in: on February 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm  Comments (45)  
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  1. The things I know for certain, LouAnn, are these: Life is eternal and I’m only experiencing a segment of it. My possibilities for experience are limitless, limited only by my perception and imagination. xoxoM

    • I love the things you know for certain — your comment is better than my post!

      • They go hand-in-hand. If you hadn’t made your post, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to ruminate. Thanks! xoxoM

      • you ruminate so well!

      • I confess: I practice ruminating, A LOT. The smell of rubber burning seldom seems to stop at our house! lol xoxoM

  2. Lou Ann, I love the idea of possibilities being bliss. It’s the positive way of looking at uncertainty, you know? Being uncertain is scary but looking at it as being another possibility makes it more exciting than say, dreading that it could turn out badly. Am I making sense?! I love the quote! I always feel better after reading one of your posts. This I know for sure. :)

    • you make total sense – it takes uncertainty out of the realm of scary and puts it into the more magical place of possiblity – I am glad you feel better after reading my posts–I feel the same way about yours!

  3. Possibility is bliss! I love that quote….. I am often caught up in the anticipation of events which are never as good as the anticipation! If that makes sense.

    • so do what I do–think everything is going to be awful–then you are sometimes pleasantly surprised — it is called negative positivity

  4. Oh yes! Possibility, hope, maybe…they are all filled with bliss!

  5. oooo.. I’m stealing the Pledge trick. The possibility that I can trick people into thinking that I actually cleaned the house is pretty darn blissful.

    • the Pledge trick is better than the vacuum trick–you do trip over polish

  6. I agree, once a house is clean it should never have to be cleaned again. Oh how that was my mantra when waking to find teenage boys had eaten during the night and the spotless kitchen I left when heading to bed was not there to greet me in the morning.

    One thing I know for sure, I will at some point die and leave this place, for now I want to experience everything I can so as not to miss out on anything good.

    • that is a great way to look at it –experience all we can now
      I know – I leave things clean but they do not stay that way- alas!

  7. The possibility of having bliss is blissful – choice is lovely :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  8. A great post and I really like that Margaret Drabble’s quote.

    I do a similar thing with Windex in the bathroom that you do with Pledge. :-) I will have to settle for a house that smells clean rather than actually is clean especially with the boys in the house.

  9. Without possibility…there is no hope..btw I’m with you on maybe cooking more…(maybe) if there was no mess to clean up..Diane

  10. One thing I know for sure is I won’t be Queen.

    • no, that job is taken, but maybe you could sing for Queen

      • That job is taken too. Vanessa is lead singer.

      • okay, then you can play drums and I will play the gong

      • You are multi-talented.

      • I truly am, only I can play the gong and make it sound truly delightful!

      • I know. I can hear it. Delightful AND loud.

      • only way to get my family’s attention

  11. Great post. I don’t want to back myself into a corner on anything. I’d rather dwell in the world of possibility. Then again, I think waiting around to act certain of things when we’re “pretty sure” we know what we’re talking about, is a waste of time, too. Sometimes you just have to be bold and come out and say, I’m sure of this, let the chips fall where they may! Haha! Okay, so I don’t do that often. Lol!

    I’m glad you’re certain that you’ll continue to spray Pledge around and put the vacuum out!! Haha! I’m sure I’ll do the same. :)

  12. One thing I know for sure is that I am never sure!

  13. one thing I know for sure, I will never be able to walk on water..
    love your list!!

    • what about ice? that is just frozen water…………

      • ice I may be able to manage :-)

      • ha ha –

  14. Interesting post Lou, as always.

    • you speak from the sunny realms of Florida–you traitor you – we are supposed to get quite a storm this afternoon so bask away sister dear

  15. I was very sure about many things when I was younger! Today, at 52, I’m only sure about the few things I control. I control my own feelings and a few personal choices. Pretty much everything else is beyond my reach, and so I can’t be sure about most of life’s issues/questions. But I’ve learned that the things that turn out differently than I expect are often the best…maybe my expectations or too low, or I just don’t think creatively enough. Anyway, I like that life has surprises and the unforeseen just waiting around the corner…keeps it interesting, don’t you think? ~ Sheila

    • For some reason I was so much smarter when I was younger and much more sure of everything – life has taught me a lesson that all things are not within my control — which makes life interesting–sometimes too interesting

  16. My vacuum is way too big to haul up the stairs and my hubby won’t schlep it up for me unless I actually plan on using it. Damn. So I am sure that I will not be able to adopt your “pretending” to clean the house technique.
    The “possibility” of this vacuum dying and getting a lighter one, however, is blissful. So, yes. Possibility is bliss.

    • mine is heavy too and it is rare that I vacuum the upstairs–so I have an idea whereof you speak

  17. i do the same with my vacuum – thanks to a hint from erma bombeck.
    i love this post. you are a marvelous work and a wonder.

    • I wonder if I got it from her too – she is a mentor of mine, though she never knew it–thank you for your encouragement–it comes at a good time


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