Facing The Unknown

This past week, even the tiniest whiff of the “washing machine lands on comet” story sent my triple helping of natural curiosity abuzzing.

What’s not to like about outer space and giddy scientists are always fun to watch.

The old imagination jumped in for some fun tossing in memories of playing Asteroids in the arcade or visions of some gamer on a joystick trying to hit the landing spot.


Here was a first opportunity to touch something from the beginning of time. As in circa Big Bang.

Textbooks would have to be rewritten.

Nobody knew what to expect and pretty much everything was charting new territory.


I was giddy at the thought of data samples registering “whaaaa” on the scales.

The washing machine was at the forefront of dis covery … uncovering what has always been there because we had grown in capability to get there.

There would be no saying whatever was found on the comet didn’t exist simply because we couldn’t measure it or prove it true.

Everything was possible because there was nothing to prove.

Being immersed in the unknown has its advantages.


Only When Its Dark


Except when finding yourself not where you were supposed to be.

Instead of putting down stakes on the landing spot, the washing machine bounces a couple of times and ends up perched on the side of a cliff. Or what best guess is the side of a cliff.

Regardless, there’s no getting around sitting in the shade means solar panels won’t work.


Racing against battery life, scientists scrambled to figure out what to do sitting smack dab near the middle of the unknown.

How do you make plans or decisions with no clue about where you are or how long you have?

Do you stay put or take a chance on moving to catch more light? How do you move?

Do you risk everything or nothing?


The answer is really no different on a comet flying through space than from when we face the unknown.

You realize there is no right or perfect and set out to discover what you can.

Every thing you end up knowing makes what you don’t know that much smaller.


Will there be mistakes?


But at the same time, you also know more than you did before.

Right or wrong, the unknown is not so unknown anymore.



Have you ever been in a pure learning situation without expectations or anything to prove?



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Lorraine Watson - on rustic porch

chief nudging officer


Crazy for cats and potatoes, Lorraine's insatiable curiosity of Life leads her to question, explore and push beyond the box. A self-professed "left-brained creative big picture" type, she has an intuitive knack for seeing beyond and beneath first appearances while at the same time nerding out on the details. Most of all she sees and holds others in their highest until they can see it for themselves.


  1. Dawn Downey on November 19, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I’ve been excited by this story too. As a matter of fact, I remember when the washing machine was launched. I remember it because they said they had to slingshot the thing around a couple of planets in order to get it all the way out to the comet. Something about the idea and the visual of “slingshot” stuck with me all these years. As I’ve gone down a spiritual path, I’ve come to understand the world doesn’t operate the way I thought it did. Science has validated some things I used to consider woowoo, like energy work and intuition and the power of prayer. So Ive gotten to this place where not knowing how something works, or where I’m supposed to get to in life are less and less important. I’m finding that “not knowing” reduces my stress, because it takes away some of the responsibility for getting things right. And I really like wondering if and when I’ll find out the why behind something in my life. It’s like being in the middle of a really good book. So I’d hate to resolve the things I don’t know, or gradually move them into the “now I do know” column. That would be like getting to the end of the book. I always hate that!

    • Lorraine on November 24, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      Wow Dawn – to remember the launch and then watch this landing unfold. Way cool. Can you imagine if we lived in Newton’s time how much we know now would be considered woo-woo or witchcraft?

      Great point about not knowing reducing stress. The mind can lead us on some pretty wild goose chases in its need to get to the bottom of things. But if you take the perspective of “there’s always something I do not know, the knowing of which will change everything” … there is no bottom!!

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