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Georgia O’Keeffe in a correspondence with the writer Sherwood Anderson discusses the unknown (Cowart & Hamilton, 1990). As she sees it, the unknown is the obsession with which an artist wishes to clarify something so much they need to put it down in their own media; scratching away in a sort of darkness to make it known. But, at the same time, she implores the necessity for keeping that unknown always just beyond reach.
The unknown, or maybe in other words, curiosity, wonder, mystery, and possibility is really what pushes us forward, as artists, and just simply as human beings. Those are the things that propel us to new knowledge, or new technology, or medical advancement, or greater understanding. It’s important to always be looking for that thing that makes you want to know more or has you marveling in awe and continuously questioning.
All of this is to say that the phrase I don’t know should be revered in learning and in life, even if that means you never know, or even come to a final conclusion, and accepting that as the way it might always be. Learning to accept and nurture what we don’t know and realizing its importance as a source for creativity, as well as recognizing and acknowledging the ups and downs that inevitably happen during the process of knowledge making is significant.
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