Children love questions. We, on the other planet, prefer answers.
But we also love hearing them ask, in little voices. Perhaps because children’s questions are, in a way, an uncensored, young echo of our own candor and forgotten curiosity.
Big Questions from Little People: and Simple Answers from Great Minds, “a handbook for curious children and their perplexed parents,” compiles a series of “existential” actual questions gathered from school children and answered by the world’s leading experts, including Richard Dawkins, Philip Pullman, David Eagleman and Noam Chomsky, among others.
Perhaps the most beautiful and poetic explanation of love ever offered to children, comes from the pen of Jeanette Winterson, as an answer to one of our most burning, timeless question:
How do you fall in love?
You don’t fall in love like you fall in a hole. You fall like falling through space. It’s like you jump off your own private planet to visit someone else’s planet. And when you get there it all looks different: the flowers, the animals, the colours people wear.
It is a big surprise falling in love because you thought you had everything just right on your own planet, and that was true, in a way, but then somebody signaled to you across space and the only way you could visit was to take a giant jump. Away you go, falling into someone else’s orbit and after a while you might decide to pull your two planets together and call it home.
And you can bring your dog. Or your cat. Your goldfish, hamster, collection of stones, all your odd socks. (The ones you lost, including the holes, are on the new planet you found.)
And you can bring your friends to visit. And read your favourite stories to each other. And the falling was really the big jump that you had to make to be with someone you don’t want to be without. That’s it.
P.S. You have to be brave.
Now, don’t you wish you’d read this when you were seven or anytime before growing up to (mis) understand love by falling into all the possible — real or imagined — holes?
*Thanks to BrainPickings LiteraryJukeBox for this gem.
*** Get my Museletter: FREE creative resources, soulful life tips & game-changing inspiration.
Latest posts by Andrea Balt (see all)
- 21 Thoughts on Life, Art & Love. — An Interview with Tyler Knott Gregson. - September 4, 2014
- Cowspiracy: Are Cows Taking Over the World & Destroying All Life in the Process? - May 30, 2014
- The Indie Spiritualist: 11 Spiritual Practices for Rebels & Misfits. - March 24, 2014
- 10 Tips to Grow your Audience while Feeding your Soul. - January 17, 2014
- Ken Wilber on Speaking Your Truth in Whatever Way You Can. - November 11, 2013