Truthfully, my parents weren’t my wisdom teachers, except perhaps through reversal. And, reversal offers us some powerful lessons. I didn’t go to them for guidance. Throughout my life, I’ve gleaned wisdom from my own experience and through books and other teachers.
In contemplating who I consult for Wisdom, I discovered the term Wisdom Poetry. It is defined as “the type of poetry that contains some sort of moral or lesson, often written by an ancient scholar.” Wisdom poetry is more of a theme rather than a branch of poetry itself.
Wisdom is sometimes personified, elusive creature that she can be. Is she within? Or dwelling in a cave on a mountain top far from where I live. Tibet? Nepal? Or is she in the desert? Zimbabwe? Xanadu? In the sky? If only I could pinpoint the place, might I then be able to visit it, if only in my imagination? Can I access her through my dreams? Does he have a long white beard? Do his eyes stare beyond the horizons of our own limited sight?
Is wisdom cumulative…I have these experiences and I hopefully learn from them. I think that “real” wisdom is born of experience and that we integrate the lessons learned into how we live our daily lives. And, perhaps wisdom has nothing to do with a person’s age although this wisdom poem below considers otherwise.
by Sara Teasdale
When I have ceased to break my wings
Against the faultiness of things,
And learned that compromises wait
Behind each hardly opened gate,
When I have looked Life in the eyes,
Grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the Truth,
And taken in exchange my youth.
Who do you consult for wisdom?