E-Squared Magazine
Art + Science | Culture

Tuesday, September 5th, 2023

On the Beginner’s Mind

On the Beginner’s Mind
I consider myself a beginner in many things, but no matter what I am doing in life, I try and approach everything I do as if I am on a new path, remaining open to discovery along the way. Do you remember the first time you decided to do something different or take a brand-new path?

Thus far in my experience, it feels like I have been on so many different paths, and I have a lot of interesting stories to tell as a result. I am going to set the scene for you from one of my experiences while out on a late-night stroll, which I often take:

It was a late, hot summer night with a full moon to light the way. I decided to take a different path––the alley. On my stroll, I saw an opossum friend on top of the fence line and paused to observe her typical travels. She moved carefully on top of the fence line, jumped down into a grassy patch, clumsily tromped through a garden bed, and crawled through the broken lattice beneath a porch. I moved on. In the light of the moon, I saw something glimmer. It was an antique brass rim lock in a pile of alley scrap. I put it in my pocket for safekeeping (it now hangs on my wall). Then, as I was making my way, I began to hear music and decided I wanted to find the source. Hearing the layers of sound echoing off of the city architecture was quite magical but presented a challenge in finding the source. So, I closed my eyes and similar to a bat, used echolocation to interpret the sound waves in an attempt to find the band. Of course, I was not making sounds myself, but I was using a tool I knew about in nature to achieve an outcome. When I finally arrived at the source, before me was an 18-piece brass band (What Cheer) with people celebrating and dancing all around. We were mostly strangers to each other, but we danced the night away anyway.

What’s my point here? Well, I think it is important to approach life with a beginner’s mind––to stay curious, allow yourself to wonder around blindly, trust your gut, and always, always, ask a lot of questions. Most importantly, try to begin everything you do with fresh eyes, without any preconceptions, and with an attitude of openness so that we can all dance, even if we are just strangers in the night.

Cheers to all that is yet to be discovered on new paths!