Do I Have Something To Learn Here?

Exploring in Barcelona

I read a quote today by Theodore Roethke that said –

“I learn by going where I have to go”

I understand that Roethke is speaking  metaphorically but I couldn’t help but think about this line in terms of place: solid, geographical place.

Place is important to me. I think about it often, usually about where I would like to be, which since graduating college has mainly been America. Yet I have been everywhere but America. Australia, Asia and now I find myself home, again…in Ireland, in a village, in the countryside. Not exactly the cities and fast-pace I yearn for.

Yet I am still here. I can list the reasons why I come home, all practical and well thought-out. I do like it here. It’s beautiful, quiet, a haven for artists. It’s easy to come back to, easy to fall back into step with and lose yourself in the sleepy flow of it.

This quote stopped me though. Am I meant to be here? Am I meant to learn something while I’m here? AM I HERE FOR A REASON?! And if I figure that reason out, if I learn what I need to, would I then naturally move on and find myself a new adventure?

So the question today people is…

Do you come to a place because you have something to learn there?

-> Do you think it’s just coincidence?

-> Do you think it’s an excuse for taking the easy option?

-> Have you ever ended up somewhere for seemly no good reason and something amazing happened?

-> Do you feel the Universe takes you to where you need to be? Or do you need to take yourself?

(read Roethke’s entire poem ‘The Waking’ here)
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5 responses to “Do I Have Something To Learn Here?

  1. Interesting, -but, in answer to your question, no idea:)

  2. I think the energy of a place resonates with you in some way, so that some places feel like home no matter where you are – and not necessarily dictated by line or light, although that undoubtedly makes a subliminal difference, other places mark themselves out more by the people they contain. The places, disparate as they may be, that combine that sense of belonging, of knowing where you are, your place in this world, with the people who give our lives meaning create the strongest resonance of all. As to all the places you yearn for – maybe your heart remembers you choosing somewhere that you just haven’t come across yet…

    • Michelle, that is so beautiful written. I will be mulling it over all weekend…I particularly like that it is the combination of those most important factors – sense of belonging, knowing your place in the world, the people that give meaning to your life – that create the ‘perfect’ physical place for you. Other places can have one or combinations of these things and be sufficient for a time, but to stay forever, I think, would leave you with a sense of longing.

      Thank you so much!

  3. > Do you think it’s just coincidence?
    Seeing that everything in the Universe is interconnected, everything is coincidence. The laws we know about are gravity, magnetism, etc., but I’m sure there are many more which we obey involuntarily. If we want to learn, we will learn wherever we are, there are just some place, because of traditions, etc., where it is better to learn certain things.

    -> Do you think it’s an excuse for taking the easy option?
    I don’t think there are easy options. What seems easier today brings its own difficulties tomorrow. Ourselves, as learners, are independent self-contained units. Different places stimulate us to develop in different ways. Some will be expertise and technique, while others experience, application and perhaps learning through sharing.

    -> Have you ever ended up somewhere for seemly no good reason and something amazing happened?
    So many times I’ve lost count . . . . and AMAZING!! . . . but not always.

    -> Do you feel the Universe takes you to where you need to be? Or do you need to take yourself?
    You definitely need to take yourself, but you might not end up where you originally imagined. You have to untether a boat and move it in the currents for the wind to fill its sail. But sometimes a “move” indicator can unexpectedly blare in our face like a fog-horn. Other times it can seem like our only possible choice, which we follow in an almost passive way.

    • John, thank you so much for your indepth answers! They have given me much food for thought…think I need to re-read them a few time so the goodness can sink in.

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