Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Today’s rant is to remind the current generation of something they probably never knew and something I knew but had forgotten. And what they never knew and what I forgot is the value of mystery. I forgot that mystery, though such a simple thing, has a value greater than diamonds, greater than gold. I forgot that mystery is as precious as precious can get.

I think one of the best examples of mystery magic is the success of the Harry Potter books. Now I have never read Harry Potter or even watched one of the Harry Potter movies, but you and I both know that amidst wizardry and magic stones, the real fascination that woos so many Harry Potter fans, is the mysteries embedded in these tales.

Another example of the mysterious powers of mystery is politics (in Canada, anyway). Mystery is the reason why Liberals keep returning to power in every election because, like Harry Potter, they are so mysterious. There is the mystery of phenomenal amounts of missing money, the mystery of a government that promises one thing and delivers another, even the mystery of how they win every election. Mystery works. It’s what people want. Silly conservatives, tell all, withhold nothing, and harbor no mysteries. So you see what happens.

Next, consider Christmas and how much one’s joy is reduced when they have no surprises, no mysterious packages to open. Well likewise, the joy in living is totally wrapped up in mystery. It is this that makes us chase through life with the joy of an adventurer. Wanting to travel, read, love, and learn more about who we are and why we are here.

Likewise, it is not surprising that every good book, every fascinating life, and every successful TV show is well permeated with mystery. Who will win 'Canadian Idol', excel in 'Fear Factor', or survive in 'The Survivor'? And how depressing is it, if someone knows and tells all before the story plays out. Woefully depressing. So what I want to do today is remind those who are so anxious to reveal all, don’t forget about holding back a little fascinating bit of mystery. It is as important in every aspect of life. A bit of mystery is so relevant to the appeal of all things. When all miracles are explained, there are no miracles. And without miracles there is no wonderment.

And if we consider relationships we see the same parallels. What is the most common catalyst in failed relationships? People grow tired of each other very quickly when all the mystery is gone.

And that thought leads me to the young people of today. It is so wrong for us to expect young adolescents to find the same joy in life’s mysteries, after we have given them all knowledge without reservation. After we have ripped opened the mystery box, dissected the contents, and tiresomely discussed every detail of it. Too much information. So much information that like a movie one has already seen, with no mystery left, our young people look for other appeal. This is when they graduate from the ecstatic joy found in first love and the miracle of their own physical and emotional make-up to an alternate fixation. The mystery is gone and so without mystery, many begin to think their disinterest in love and life must arise from gender issues or depression or a physical disorder. It is so unfair that parents and schools insist on tampering with other’s mysteries when mysteries are, like turkey dressing, the stuffing that gives life its wondrous flavor.

Now originally I suggested this was something the current generation never knew and that it was something I had forgotten. And because I had forgotten, I have blogged away, so out there, so unmindful of retaining some mystery, that my readers know as much, and probably far more than they want to know. And when Roberta has shed every speck of mystery about who she is and how she thinks, there is little appeal in the stuff she writes.

Kick me, please.


Blogger RP said...

I disagree with the last sentence. Even when you have shed all the mystery about yourself, I'd still come back just to enjoy the experience of your writing, no matter what the topic. Sometimes, if the writing is good enough, the topic doesn't even matter.

4:49 AM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Bless you, rp. Everytime I feel really discouraged, you sneak up on me and give me a gentle pat on the back. Much appreciated.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Esther said...

Ah,how true mystery is great. I think back to my childhood and all the great mysteries we created out of thin air. A favorite thing for my best friend Tam and myself was a treasure map, six steps forward, 25 five paces east, follow the creek to the big Oak, and dig.

We never knew what to expect, something all we dug up were worms, but the very best..is when we dug up "a mysterious rock". That is a quote from my 4th grade diary.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Roberta said...

esther, your comment certainly clearly articulates what I was trying to explain in this post. The mysterious rock -- an obvious treasure.

1:34 PM  

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