Where Maybe May Be the Correct Answer

“There’s something happening here. Β What it is ain’t exactly clear.”

In two lines, Buffalo Springfield sums it all up for me.

The story of my life. The reason I write. What I write about.

I used to wish I was the kind of person with a well-defined plan. One of the ones who feels confident that when they follow a certain path, they will be on their way to a place that will suit them and make them happy. One of the ones who believe so deeply in a cause or a creed that they feel compelled to proselytize. To convert. Because they cannot comprehend that there is another valid perspective.

How nice it would be to be so sure of yourself. So steady in your convictions.

But I’ve learned (after being beaten over the head with it several billion times) that I am not somebody who sees the world as black or white or good or evil or right or wrong. Don’t misunderstand. I see the right or wrong (good or evil, black or white)Β  in specific acts, but when it comes to the big picture, the one that the specific act is a small part of, I am forever in an area that is gray, where “maybe” usually is the correct answer.

It’s why politics confuse me. And politicians confuse me even more. How can you be so sure that your ideology is going to provide the right answer in all situations? Or even most situations? There are details involved. People, who by nature, are complex beings. What is right in one instance may be wrong in another seemingly similar instance. Or partially right.

Again, to clarify, I’m not opposed to rules and laws that attempt to define what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior in our society. I’m opposed to the assumption that those rules don’t have any give, under any circumstances.

The other day, I came across a quote I had forgotten, which helped me to define what it is that I do when I write, since I don’t write in a single genre or time period, since I don’t write only fiction or non-fiction or poetry, since I don’t believe a meaningful piece of writing needs to be a certain length or a certain style to tell a story worth reading.

The quote of which I speak is by the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”

I write about real life. About the people that are living it.

It’s human nature to try and fix the things that aren’t working, and in my humble opinion, it is a noble quest. However, maybe if we spent a little bit more time living our lives, a little less time trying to perfect something destined to be imperfect, perhaps we would all get along better.

And be a little happier.


I write about daily life, arts & culture, food, books, nature, animals, parenting, relationships, self-discovery, & more.

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18 thoughts on “Where Maybe May Be the Correct Answer

  1. I know exactly what you’re saying, Sara, and I couldn’t agree more. Also, I find that the older I get, the more this is true.

    (and I love that song…)

    ~Thanks for making me feel like I’m not alone! πŸ™‚

    1. I’m not sure I find this to be more true as I age. It’s more like as I age, I’m opening myself up more and more to who I’ve always been at my core, but haven’t known fully. Does that make sense? And you know, We Are Not Alone. πŸ™‚

  2. I agree–on the music and the philosophy. I tend to shy away from people who see things in black and white–there can’t be any meaningful discussion if you think your way is the only right way. And, I love my freedoms (don’t fence me in).

    1. Freedom rocks. We’re pretty lucky to have it and to be able to express ourselves as we need to do. Thanks for commenting Cora!

  3. Absolutely love this song–a grand treat to find it here πŸ™‚

    I think, or at least in my experience, the great trade-off for growing older is gaining wisdom. Wisdom to not only see how far I’ve traveled in the BIG BOOK, but to actually decipher the writing on the page. As human beings we never stop seeking our own “comfy chair” in the space of our universe, but there are certain concretes I might’ve been wishy washy over once, but now find essential to the point I refuse to bend or settle for less: Honesty, faith, consideration, truth, freedom — all necessary. Accept no substitutes!

  4. Great song, great quote…lots of food for thought. I am baffled by people who are convinced that they know the one “right” answer to things (anything).

    And…I may have to quote you on this, Sara: “However, maybe if we spent a little bit more time living our lives, a little less time trying to perfect something destined to be imperfect, perhaps we would all get along better.”

    Well said!

  5. Echoing what’s already been said, Sara, great song. I usually get a mental Aaaargh! when someone or something plants a song in my noggin. Not this time.

    I will Google the lyrics when I finish my comment here. If this song plans to sing me to sleep tonight, it’s best I know more than the first two lines.

    I love, LOVE, LOVE your message and your writing voice. Did we meet through that Margie Lawson woman? I ask because I’ve got a keen eye for her rhetorical devices and cadence when I read them. You use them beautifully to convey a message worth reading many times. Thank you!

    1. This Margie Larson name keeps coming up. I don’t know her but she is a bit of a hero among the WANA crowd, it seems. I’m blushing from your compliments. As you know, we writers need validation all the time, and because I am particularly needy, my appreciation for what you’ve said is huge. I’m glad you connected with the message and liked the song, as well. I don’t think I’ll read any more feedback tonight because it is nice to leave feeling happy. Thank you.

  6. “…maybe if we spent a little bit more time living our lives, a little less time trying to perfect something destined to be imperfect, perhaps we would all get along better.” That’s a beautiful thought. I think the grey bits are the most interesting, because you have to really think things through, and have never understood how some people could be so sure of their own point of view.
    Thanks for the post.

    1. Thanks for coming by. I’m not surprised yet it still heartens me that so many people have come back and said that they, too, find they also can’t imagine living anywhere but in the grey, at least some of the time. I love when a quotable rolls off the tongue without any forethought. The line you highlighted is one of those unplanned gems that came from the very dark grey abyss of my mind.

  7. Count me among the Tribe of Grey. As a therapist, I have spent my whole career living in the greyness of the grey, looking at others’ points of view and not passing judgment on that. Like so many above have mentioned, I don’t understand or relate to those who operate in absolutes. There isn’t any room for dialogue or discussion or learning in the land of absolutes. Great post!

    1. Perfect name: Tribe of Grey. Although with all the hype around that S&M novel (50 Shades of Grey?), I hope nobody misunderstands what we mean. πŸ™‚

  8. “maybe if we spent a little bit more time living our lives, a little less time trying to perfect something destined to be imperfect, perhaps we would all get along better.”

    So true… (I wish I had something more to say, but this statement is so big I am still trying to let it sink in.)

    Nice post.

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